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 A Map of the Cell’s Power Station
18.08.2017 | Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg im Breisgau

nachricht On the way to developing a new active ingredient against chronic infections
18.08.2017 | Deutsches Zentrum für Infektionsforschung

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Fizzy soda water could be key to clean manufacture of flat wonder material: Graphene

Whether you call it effervescent, fizzy, or sparkling, carbonated water is making a comeback as a beverage. Aside from quenching thirst, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have discovered a new use for these "bubbly" concoctions that will have major impact on the manufacturer of the world's thinnest, flattest, and one most useful materials -- graphene.

As graphene's popularity grows as an advanced "wonder" material, the speed and quality at which it can be manufactured will be paramount. With that in mind,...

Im Focus: Exotic quantum states made from light: Physicists create optical “wells” for a super-photon

Physicists at the University of Bonn have managed to create optical hollows and more complex patterns into which the light of a Bose-Einstein condensate flows. The creation of such highly low-loss structures for light is a prerequisite for complex light circuits, such as for quantum information processing for a new generation of computers. The researchers are now presenting their results in the journal Nature Photonics.

Light particles (photons) occur as tiny, indivisible portions. Many thousands of these light portions can be merged to form a single super-photon if they are...

Im Focus: Circular RNA linked to brain function

For the first time, scientists have shown that circular RNA is linked to brain function. When a RNA molecule called Cdr1as was deleted from the genome of mice, the animals had problems filtering out unnecessary information – like patients suffering from neuropsychiatric disorders.

While hundreds of circular RNAs (circRNAs) are abundant in mammalian brains, one big question has remained unanswered: What are they actually good for? In the...

Im Focus: RAVAN CubeSat measures Earth's outgoing energy

An experimental small satellite has successfully collected and delivered data on a key measurement for predicting changes in Earth's climate.

The Radiometer Assessment using Vertically Aligned Nanotubes (RAVAN) CubeSat was launched into low-Earth orbit on Nov. 11, 2016, in order to test new...

Im Focus: Scientists shine new light on the “other high temperature superconductor”

A study led by scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg presents evidence of the coexistence of superconductivity and “charge-density-waves” in compounds of the poorly-studied family of bismuthates. This observation opens up new perspectives for a deeper understanding of the phenomenon of high-temperature superconductivity, a topic which is at the core of condensed matter research since more than 30 years. The paper by Nicoletti et al has been published in the PNAS.

Since the beginning of the 20th century, superconductivity had been observed in some metals at temperatures only a few degrees above the absolute zero (minus...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Call for Papers – ICNFT 2018, 5th International Conference on New Forming Technology

16.08.2017 | Event News

Sustainability is the business model of tomorrow

04.08.2017 | Event News

Clash of Realities 2017: Registration now open. International Conference at TH Köln

26.07.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

A Map of the Cell’s Power Station

18.08.2017 | Life Sciences

Engineering team images tiny quasicrystals as they form

18.08.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Researchers printed graphene-like materials with inkjet

18.08.2017 | Materials Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>