Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Mapping microfluidics’ impact on life sciences

03.03.2004


Over the last decade, microfluidics has enabled the rapid growth and commercialisation of the life sciences, and IST-project FLOWMAP aims to further these advances by elaborating a roadmap that identifies technological gaps and streamlines RTD activities in the field.



One of the most dynamically emerging disciplines of microtechnology, microfluidic devices can accurately control minute volumes of fluid - mostly liquids - well below the microlitre range.

Modern inkjet technology with global turnover topping 10 billion euros represents an impressive example of how microfluidics has leveraged a mature and commercially successful area of business. By significantly reducing reagent volumes and thus the costs per test, microfluidics-based liquid handling equipment has emerged from inkjet technology to enable modern high-throughput technologies for pharmaceutical drug discovery.


The FLOWMAP consortium identified a broad gap between the technological capabilities on the one side and the know-how available on the developers’ back-end side, and the awareness, needs and expectations among potential customers acting on the front end. Bringing together more than 150 key players from different disciplines on a European level, FLOWMAP plotted a technology roadmap for the advances expected in microfluidics and defined future requirements of the customers through interviews, questionnaires and workshops.

"We have quantified the economic development and pinpointed important market drivers. Furthermore, the paramount technology drivers which will determine the present and expected capabilities have been identified. This way, the roadmap provides a solid basis for decision makers planning investments in the life science arena," says project manager Jens Ducree.

He adds the roadmap has now been produced from the results of these surveys and "we are shipping an electronic 197-page record to customers." He points out that an executive summary of the roadmap is currently available on their website.

The summary notes the technological advantages arising from microfluidic qualities, such as fast response times, well-controlled reaction conditions, small power consumption, low dead volumes and the possibility to manipulate liquids by means of electric fields, heating or ultrasonic waves. These qualities allow for compact, often stand-alone systems that have been designed featuring full process integration and automation to carry out complex tasks in a hands-on fashion.

These portable or point-of-use systems leverage applications such as so-called ’labs-on-a-chip’ for medical diagnostics or other analytical purposes like ecological monitoring. The summary points out other promising markets comprise miniaturised therapeutical devices, e.g. for implantable, stand-alone drug delivery units. As a benefit to research and development, microfluidics also provides a unique access to the nanoworld of biomolecular chemistry, thus setting the pace for many leading edge biotechnological innovations.

Major hurdles presently impeding the commercial proliferation of microfluidic technologies identified by the roadmap include the cost of associated equipment and microfluidic components, the strength of competing/substitutive technologies, and the lack of commercial suppliers, infrastructure and industrial standards.

Based on survey consensus, the roadmap forecasts an overall annual growth rate for microfluidic technologies in the life sciences of more than 30 per cent per annum with drug discovery, medical diagnostics and therapeutic devices representing the most promising fields. Using the market analysis, consortium partner Yole Développement estimates the current global market of microfluidics in the life sciences at approximately 500 million euros, increasing at an annual growth rate of 19 per cent to 1.4 billion euros in 2008. Ducree adds that the roadmap provides a detailed breakdown of this turnover in each microfluidics segment identified in life sciences, which can be ordered from the website.

Contact:
Jens Ducree
Albert-Ludwigs-Universitaet Freiburg
IMTEK
Chair for Mems Applications
Fahnenbergplatz
D-79085 Freiburg
Germany
Tel: +49-761-2037324
Fax: +49-761-2037322
Email: ducree@imtek.de

Source: Based on information from FLOWMAP

Tara Morris | IST Results
Further information:
http://istresults.cordis.lu/index.cfm?section=news&tpl=article&BrowsingType=Features&ID=62763
http://www.microfluidics-roadmap.com/

More articles from Process Engineering:

nachricht Dresdner scientists print tomorrow’s world
08.02.2017 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Werkstoff- und Strahltechnik IWS

nachricht New technology for mass-production of complex molded composite components
23.01.2017 | Evonik Industries AG

All articles from Process Engineering >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Breakthrough with a chain of gold atoms

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

Im Focus: DNA repair: a new letter in the cell alphabet

Results reveal how discoveries may be hidden in scientific “blind spots”

Cells need to repair damaged DNA in our genes to prevent the development of cancer and other diseases. Our cells therefore activate and send “repair-proteins”...

Im Focus: Dresdner scientists print tomorrow’s world

The Fraunhofer IWS Dresden and Technische Universität Dresden inaugurated their jointly operated Center for Additive Manufacturing Dresden (AMCD) with a festive ceremony on February 7, 2017. Scientists from various disciplines perform research on materials, additive manufacturing processes and innovative technologies, which build up components in a layer by layer process. This technology opens up new horizons for component design and combinations of functions. For example during fabrication, electrical conductors and sensors are already able to be additively manufactured into components. They provide information about stress conditions of a product during operation.

The 3D-printing technology, or additive manufacturing as it is often called, has long made the step out of scientific research laboratories into industrial...

Im Focus: Mimicking nature's cellular architectures via 3-D printing

Research offers new level of control over the structure of 3-D printed materials

Nature does amazing things with limited design materials. Grass, for example, can support its own weight, resist strong wind loads, and recover after being...

Im Focus: Three Magnetic States for Each Hole

Nanometer-scale magnetic perforated grids could create new possibilities for computing. Together with international colleagues, scientists from the Helmholtz Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) have shown how a cobalt grid can be reliably programmed at room temperature. In addition they discovered that for every hole ("antidot") three magnetic states can be configured. The results have been published in the journal "Scientific Reports".

Physicist Dr. Rantej Bali from the HZDR, together with scientists from Singapore and Australia, designed a special grid structure in a thin layer of cobalt in...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Booth and panel discussion – The Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings at the AAAS 2017 Annual Meeting

13.02.2017 | Event News

Complex Loading versus Hidden Reserves

10.02.2017 | Event News

International Conference on Crystal Growth in Freiburg

09.02.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Stingless bees have their nests protected by soldiers

24.02.2017 | Life Sciences

New risk factors for anxiety disorders

24.02.2017 | Life Sciences

MWC 2017: 5G Capital Berlin

24.02.2017 | Trade Fair News

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>