Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Thinking small: Texas A&M team creates lab-on-a-chip

17.01.2005


Imagine an entire chemistry laboratory reduced to the size of a postage stamp. It could happen.



While others may think big, Texas A&M University physicists Don Naugle and co-worker Igor Lyuksyutov are thinking small - as in micro small. They have successfully managed to levitate micron-sized fluids using magnets, which could lead to new advances in medicine, chemistry, chemical engineering and other related fields. By using small magnets on a postage-stamp sized chip, Naugle and Lyuksyutov have managed to move and merge tiny levitating droplets and crystals and to control the orientation of the levitating crystals.

The droplets used were as small as bacteria or 100 times smaller than a human hair, and up to one billion times smaller in volume than has been demonstrated by conventional methods. Their work was recently published in Applied Physics Letter and featured in several science journals. Their research is funded by The Robert A. Welch Foundation and National Science Foundation grants. "It might be possible to do the same thing with a large number of fluids, chemicals or even a virus," Naugle explains.


"The Texas A&M team has managed to move and levitate several substances, including alcohol solutions, oils, some types of powders and even red blood cells and bacteria. It could be theoretically possible to reduce an entire chemistry lab to a few postage-stamp sized chips. "Try to picture individual chemical beakers (droplets) being merged into other chemical beakers. That’s the principal involved here."

Naugle calls the method a "lab on a chip" and says the possibilities are exciting. "The lab-on-a-chip device levitates and manipulates diamagnetic objects, which are very weakly repelled by magnets," he notes. "These include living tissue and other objects and substances you don’t think of as being magnetic."

The new procedures could be applied to other fields, he believes. "Though it has taken several years to achieve the droplet levitation process, we need to see if we can make progress with manipulating DNA, nanotubes and other things using both magnetic and electric fields. It would be exciting to see if we could precisely transport levitating nanotubes into predefined positions on a silicon chip. This could open up even more doors for future research."

Keith Randall | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.tamu.edu

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Kidney tumor: Genetic trigger discovered
18.06.2018 | Julius-Maximilians-Universität Würzburg

nachricht New type of photosynthesis discovered
18.06.2018 | Imperial College London

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: AchemAsia 2019 will take place in Shanghai

Moving into its fourth decade, AchemAsia is setting out for new horizons: The International Expo and Innovation Forum for Sustainable Chemical Production will take place from 21-23 May 2019 in Shanghai, China. With an updated event profile, the eleventh edition focusses on topics that are especially relevant for the Chinese process industry, putting a strong emphasis on sustainability and innovation.

Founded in 1989 as a spin-off of ACHEMA to cater to the needs of China’s then developing industry, AchemAsia has since grown into a platform where the latest...

Im Focus: First real-time test of Li-Fi utilization for the industrial Internet of Things

The BMBF-funded OWICELLS project was successfully completed with a final presentation at the BMW plant in Munich. The presentation demonstrated a Li-Fi communication with a mobile robot, while the robot carried out usual production processes (welding, moving and testing parts) in a 5x5m² production cell. The robust, optical wireless transmission is based on spatial diversity; in other words, data is sent and received simultaneously by several LEDs and several photodiodes. The system can transmit data at more than 100 Mbit/s and five milliseconds latency.

Modern production technologies in the automobile industry must become more flexible in order to fulfil individual customer requirements.

Im Focus: Sharp images with flexible fibers

An international team of scientists has discovered a new way to transfer image information through multimodal fibers with almost no distortion - even if the fiber is bent. The results of the study, to which scientist from the Leibniz-Institute of Photonic Technology Jena (Leibniz IPHT) contributed, were published on 6thJune in the highly-cited journal Physical Review Letters.

Endoscopes allow doctors to see into a patient’s body like through a keyhole. Typically, the images are transmitted via a bundle of several hundreds of optical...

Im Focus: Photoexcited graphene puzzle solved

A boost for graphene-based light detectors

Light detection and control lies at the heart of many modern device applications, such as smartphone cameras. Using graphene as a light-sensitive material for...

Im Focus: Water is not the same as water

Water molecules exist in two different forms with almost identical physical properties. For the first time, researchers have succeeded in separating the two forms to show that they can exhibit different chemical reactivities. These results were reported by researchers from the University of Basel and their colleagues in Hamburg in the scientific journal Nature Communications.

From a chemical perspective, water is a molecule in which a single oxygen atom is linked to two hydrogen atoms. It is less well known that water exists in two...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Munich conference on asteroid detection, tracking and defense

13.06.2018 | Event News

2nd International Baltic Earth Conference in Denmark: “The Baltic Sea region in Transition”

08.06.2018 | Event News

ISEKI_Food 2018: Conference with Holistic View of Food Production

05.06.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Novel method for investigating pore geometry in rocks

18.06.2018 | Earth Sciences

Diamond watch components

18.06.2018 | Process Engineering

New type of photosynthesis discovered

18.06.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>