Purdue University researchers have developed a new method to quickly and inexpensively create microfluidic chips, analytic devices with potential applications in food safety, biosecurity, clinical diagnostics, pharmaceuticals and other industries.
Purdue University graduate student Tom Huang assembles a new microfluidic chip by placing a thin layer of a flexible polymer on a glass microscope slide. The new method of producing these chips saves time and money and uses materials easily acquired by any research laboratory. (Purdue Agricultural Communications photo/Tom Campbell)
"This development democratizes the preparation of microfluidic biochips," said Michael Ladisch, Distinguished Professor of Agricultural and Biological Engineering and Biomedical Engineering. "This brings the design and manufacture of these devices within reach of scientists in many laboratories who can now easily test their ideas and conduct research within a typical laboratory setting."
Microfluidics is a branch of nanotechnology that involves manipulating minute quantities of liquids, typically in a chip device approximately the size of a postage stamp. The initial design and manufacture of these chips often requires weeks of work, but the new approach developed by Ladisch and Tom Huang, a graduate student in chemical engineering, cuts that time to hours.
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