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Microfluidics is a quickly growing, highly interdisciplinary field at the interface of physics, engineering, chemistry and biology. Over the past years microfluidic approaches have been used for a variety of applications, including nucleotide sequencing, functional genomics, single cell/ single molecule studies and diagnostics. Many of these applications, including next-generation sequencing devices, have been revolutionised by miniaturisation, paving the way for global gene analysis and hence transforming biology. In addition, working on the pico- to nanoliter scale not only allows a high degree of parallelisation, but also offers superb spatiotemporal control. Small objects such as cells, or even discrete parts thereof, can be exposed to unique conditions, facilitating entirely novel approaches in modern biology and chemistry.