Plastic Manifolds for Medical, Research, and Life Science Applications

Many industries are increasingly using bonded manifolds as their technology, sophistication, and repeatability have improved, and designers realize their inherent value. Complex manifolds — with arrays of different valves — can deliver functions such as pneumatic control, cleaning cycles, dosing, reagent mixing, flow and bacteria analysis, particle separation, and many others.

*Updated November 21, 2023

Bonded manifolds are uniquely capable of meeting the precise requirements of healthcare and life sciences, providing control of gas and chemicals. In addition, you can build many system components into manifolds, such as pumps, flow sensors, valves, and connectors.

We break down how these paramount industries are using bonded manifolds to advance technology that not only increases patient quality of life but also save lives.

Benefits of Bonded Plastic Manifolds

  • Good chemical resistance to acids, alkalis, greases and solvents, hydrogen peroxide, and hot steam for some plastic materials
  • Minimal outgassing under vacuum to help maintain a sterile environment
  • Good plasma resistance
  • Reduced overall footprint and weight
  • Integration of multiple components, including fittings, pressure regulators, valves, restrictors, and filters
  • Incorporation of complex pneumatic and/or fluidic circuits directly into the manifold
  • Maintain the exact fluidic volume between different components
  • Eliminate potential dead spaces within the fluidic pathway
  • Improved reliability and operational efficiency
  • Reduced overall costs

Life Science Applications

Plastic manifolds are uniquely capable of meeting the precise requirements of life science applications. Cell counters, IVD instruments, and gene sequencers, in particular, are excellent applications for plastic manifolds. In addition, plastics like acrylic, COP, polycarbonate, and ULTEM have qualities—including optical clarity, chemical resistance, and low fluorescence—that make life science projects successful.

Medical Applications

Multilayer manifolds have become a perfect answer in the search for smaller, more portable, and lower-maintenance medical devices. They provide precision control and smaller packaging for gas and liquid management. As a result, manifolds are often used in lab accessories, patient monitoring devices, diagnostic instruments, operational machinery, blood analyzers, women’s health instruments, plastic surgery tools, dental drills, and many more applications.

Instrumentation Applications

Instruments designed for scientific research and medical diagnostic testing rely on plastic machined parts and manifolds to perform to consistently high standards. Additionally, plastics are a best-practice approach when controlling many research process chemicals since the reactivity of metals can interfere with test results. Acrylic, in particular, is helpful in visualizing flow paths for bubble detection, optical inspection, and light conditioning.

Research Applications

Precise and reliable plastic machined parts and manifolds are necessary to complete scientific experiments in the most cost-effective way possible. Unfortunately, research often requires the use of costly materials, including reagents and other working fluids. Still, researchers can minimize the quantities of liquids used with equipment that uses bonded plastic manifolds and plastic machined parts. Many use manifolds for various purposes, including DNA sequencing, environmental test devices, diagnostic instrumentation, and food quality control testing.


Controlled Fluidics manufactures various plastic components and bonded manifolds for global companies in research, life sciences, and medical devices. Our expert engineers work with a variety of plastic materials that are well-suited for your projects. These materials — all nonreactive and many optically clear — offer reliable and high-quality solutions for every project. If you need help choosing a material, our engineers can help you select the best plastic for your unique project.

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