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 Topologische Quantenchemie
21.07.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für Chemische Physik fester Stoffe

nachricht Topological Quantum Chemistry
21.07.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für Chemische Physik fester Stoffe

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Manipulating Electron Spins Without Loss of Information

Physicists have developed a new technique that uses electrical voltages to control the electron spin on a chip. The newly-developed method provides protection from spin decay, meaning that the contained information can be maintained and transmitted over comparatively large distances, as has been demonstrated by a team from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics and the Swiss Nanoscience Institute. The results have been published in Physical Review X.

For several years, researchers have been trying to use the spin of an electron to store and transmit information. The spin of each electron is always coupled...

Im Focus: The proton precisely weighted

What is the mass of a proton? Scientists from Germany and Japan successfully did an important step towards the most exact knowledge of this fundamental constant. By means of precision measurements on a single proton, they could improve the precision by a factor of three and also correct the existing value.

To determine the mass of a single proton still more accurate – a group of physicists led by Klaus Blaum and Sven Sturm of the Max Planck Institute for Nuclear...

Im Focus: On the way to a biological alternative

A bacterial enzyme enables reactions that open up alternatives to key industrial chemical processes

The research team of Prof. Dr. Oliver Einsle at the University of Freiburg's Institute of Biochemistry has long been exploring the functioning of nitrogenase....

Im Focus: The 1 trillion tonne iceberg

Larsen C Ice Shelf rift finally breaks through

A one trillion tonne iceberg - one of the biggest ever recorded -- has calved away from the Larsen C Ice Shelf in Antarctica, after a rift in the ice,...

Im Focus: Laser-cooled ions contribute to better understanding of friction

Physics supports biology: Researchers from PTB have developed a model system to investigate friction phenomena with atomic precision

Friction: what you want from car brakes, otherwise rather a nuisance. In any case, it is useful to know as precisely as possible how friction phenomena arise –...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Closing the Sustainability Circle: Protection of Food with Biobased Materials

21.07.2017 | Event News

»We are bringing Additive Manufacturing to SMEs«

19.07.2017 | Event News

The technology with a feel for feelings

12.07.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

NASA looks to solar eclipse to help understand Earth's energy system

21.07.2017 | Earth Sciences

Stanford researchers develop a new type of soft, growing robot

21.07.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Vortex photons from electrons in circular motion

21.07.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>