Custom Chip Design Tips: Connector Footprint


Luers, once fitted with a cap, can be several centimeters tallLuers, once fitted with a cap, can be several centimeters tallMany customers, who order custom-designed glass microfluidic chips or flow cells, intend to use them with fluid connectors. When designing your custom microfluidic chip, remember to allow sufficient space for connectors, as these tend to be physically large.

You must leave ample space between the connectors: They should not run into each other, nor be too close to each other to prevent attaching connector caps or tubing. Think about the size of your fingers – Did you leave sufficient space to reach the connectors?

You must also leave adequate spcaing between the connectors and the edges of the chip: Under no circumstances, should the connectors hang over the edges of the chip.

If you are going to use your chips under a microscope objective, you also need to take into consideration the height of the connectors and any associated tubing.

Here are a few design guidelines that will help you avoid what are  “common design errors”.

Luer connectors

Luer height varies with tube IDLuer height varies with tube IDTypically, the outside diameter of a luer-lock connector is 11.4 mm. We recommend a space of 12.4 mm (or more) in order to provide sufficient clearance when attaching the tubing or other luer components. The height of the full luer (base + integral cap with fitting) is a function of the tubing ID that you intend to use.

You will need to add some additional height clearance for the tubing itself.


Nanoport connectors

Upchurch’s Nanoport connectors are slightly slimmer than their Luer counter-parts, yet they too have a minimum foot print requirement. We use the N-333 model, which has an outside diameter of approximately 8.4 mm. Consider providing a little bit more space around the connector in order to be able to insert the tubing and tighten the head screw.

The height of the N-333 Nanoport connector (base + head piece) is 20 mm (0.8”). Once again, you will need to add some additional height clearance for the tubing.