In this paper, we discuss the fundamentals of micro and nanofluidics and the interdisciplinary nature of the field. The study of fluid flows at micro and nanoscales inevitably requires expertise in and an understanding of surface chemistry, electrostatics and electrokinetics, electrochemistry, molecular biology, heat and mass transfer, and macroscale fluid mechanics simultaneously. To design devices having micro and nanoscale features requires a team approach involving chemists, biologists, medical researchers and practitioners, engineers, and systems analysts. Significant advances have been made in the last 20 years in developing the capability of designing devices with microscale and nanoscale features. However, challenges remain in each of the three pillars of micro and nanofluidics: modeling, experimentation, and fabrication. Several challenges are discussed; those falling within the areas of modeling and experiment are described in some detail. It is clear in the present research environment that understanding the micro/nanofluidic environment is crucial to achieving the efficient and cost-effective design of biomedical devices.

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