These permit biological and chemical analyses to be carried out more swiftly and easily. Furthermore these systems can be used to conduct diagnostic tests, which previously have only been possible in the laboratory.
Now an international consortium spearheaded by the Fraunhofer Institute for Production Technology IPT in Aachen, Germany, has come together with the aim of ensuring the possibility to manufacture these systems cost-effectively in the future.
The combination of micro-fluidic, micro-electronic and micro-optical systems opens up new horizons for biomedical research and creates new markets for medical engineering applications. However, the high manufacturing costs coupled with a lack of standards, have so far prevented this type of system from gaining a strong foothold in the market. The main problem is the lack of methods suitable for manufacturing lab-on-a chip systems on an industrial scale. A number of microfluidic elements have also proved to be at least partially incompatible with conventional laboratory equipment.
Susanne Krause | Fraunhofer-Institut
One step closer to reality
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University of Connecticut researchers have created a biodegradable composite made of silk fibers that can be used to repair broken load-bearing bones without the complications sometimes presented by other materials.
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Novel highly efficient and brilliant gamma-ray source: Based on model calculations, physicists of the Max PIanck Institute for Nuclear Physics in Heidelberg propose a novel method for an efficient high-brilliance gamma-ray source. A giant collimated gamma-ray pulse is generated from the interaction of a dense ultra-relativistic electron beam with a thin solid conductor. Energetic gamma-rays are copiously produced as the electron beam splits into filaments while propagating across the conductor. The resulting gamma-ray energy and flux enable novel experiments in nuclear and fundamental physics.
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Stable joint cartilage can be produced from adult stem cells originating from bone marrow. This is made possible by inducing specific molecular processes occurring during embryonic cartilage formation, as researchers from the University and University Hospital of Basel report in the scientific journal PNAS.
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In the fight against cancer, scientists are developing new drugs to hit tumor cells at so far unused weak points. Such a “sore spot” is the protein complex...
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