Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Make Your Own Microfluidic Device with New Kit

28.07.2008
A type of device called a "lab-on-a-chip" could bring a new generation of instant home tests for illnesses, food contaminants and toxic gases. But today these portable, efficient tools are often stuck in the lab themselves. Specifically, in the labs of researchers who know how to make them from scratch.

University of Michigan engineers are seeking to change that with a 16-piece lab-on-a-chip kit that brings microfluidic devices to the scientific masses. The kit cuts the costs involved and the time it takes to make a microfluidic device from days to minutes, says Mark Burns, a professor in the departments of Biomedical Engineering and Chemical Engineering who developed the device with graduate student Minsoung Rhee.

"In a lot of fields, there can be significant scientific advances made using microfluidic devices and I think that has been hindered because it does take some degree of skill and equipment to make these devices," Burns said. "This new system is almost like Lego blocks. You don't need any fabrication skills to put them together."

A lab-on-a-chip integrates multiple laboratory functions onto one chip just millimeters or centimeters in size. It is usually made of nano-scale pumps, chambers and channels etched into glass or metal. These microfluidic devices that operate with drops of liquid about the size of the period at the end of this sentence allow researchers to conduct quick, efficient experiments. They can be engineered to mimic the human body more closely than the Petri dish does. They're useful in growing and testing cells, among other applications.

... more about:
»Burns »Cell »microfluidic

Burns' system offers six-by-six millimeter blocks etched with different arrangements of grooves researchers can use to make a custom device by sticking them to a piece of glass. Block designs include inlets, straight channels, Ts, Ys, pitchforks, crosses, 90-degree curves, chambers, connectors (imprinted with a block M for Michigan), zigzags, cell culture beds and various valves. The blocks can be used more than once.

Most of the microfluidic devices that life scientists currently need require a simple channel network design that can be easily accomplished with this new system, Burns said. To demonstrate the viability of his system, he successfully grew E. coli cells in one of these modular devices.

Burns believes microfluidics will go the way of computers, smaller and more personal as technology advances.

"Thirty or 40 years ago, computing was done on large-scale systems. Now everyone has many computers, on their person, in their house…. It's my vision that in another few decades, you'll see this trend in microfluidics," Burns said. "You'll be analyzing chicken to see if it has salmonella. You'll be analyzing yourself to see if you have influenza or analyzing the air to see if it has noxious elements in it."

A paper on the new system called "Microfluidic assembly blocks" will be published in Lab on a Chip.

Nicole Casal Moore | Newswise Science News
Further information:
http://www.umich.edu
http://www.rsc.org

Further reports about: Burns Cell microfluidic

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Fingerprint' technique spots frog populations at risk from pollution
27.03.2017 | Lancaster University

nachricht Parallel computation provides deeper insight into brain function
27.03.2017 | Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology (OIST) Graduate University

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Giant Magnetic Fields in the Universe

Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.

The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.

Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...

Im Focus: Tracing down linear ubiquitination

Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.

Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...

Im Focus: Perovskite edges can be tuned for optoelectronic performance

Layered 2D material improves efficiency for solar cells and LEDs

In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...

Im Focus: Polymer-coated silicon nanosheets as alternative to graphene: A perfect team for nanoelectronics

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...

Im Focus: Researchers Imitate Molecular Crowding in Cells

Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to simulate these confined natural conditions in artificial vesicles for the first time. As reported in the academic journal Small, the results are offering better insight into the development of nanoreactors and artificial organelles.

Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

International Land Use Symposium ILUS 2017: Call for Abstracts and Registration open

20.03.2017 | Event News

CONNECT 2017: International congress on connective tissue

14.03.2017 | Event News

ICTM Conference: Turbine Construction between Big Data and Additive Manufacturing

07.03.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Northern oceans pumped CO2 into the atmosphere

27.03.2017 | Earth Sciences

Fingerprint' technique spots frog populations at risk from pollution

27.03.2017 | Life Sciences

Big data approach to predict protein structure

27.03.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>