- How does it work?
- What can it be used for?
- What can it not be used for?
- Related Facilities
- Further Information
|Key words||lab-on-a-chip, microfluidics, nanotechnology, micro electro mechanical systems, analytical tool|
|Completed by||KU Leuven LFT|
How does it work?
|Primary objective||Analytical tool for small-scale diagnostics or synthetic chemistry.|
|Working principle|| A lab-on-a-chip is a device that integrates one or several analytical laboratory functions on a single chip of only millimeters to a few square centimeters in size. A lab-on-a-chip has to deal with handling of extremely small fluid volumes down to less than picoliters using channels with dimensions of tens to hundreds of micrometers. A lab-on-a-chip has a series of generic components:
Small volumes reduce the time taken to synthesize and/or analyse a product. The unique behaviour of liquids at the microscale allows greater control of molecular concentrations and interactions, and reagents costs and the amount of chemical waste can be much reduced [1-5].
|Additional effects|| Some disadvantages of a lab-on-a-chip are:
|Important process parameters||Depends on the type of analyte to be detected.|
|Important product parameters|
What can it be used for?
|Operations|| The lab-on-a-chip technology can be used for:
|Solutions for short comings||
What can it NOT be used for?
|Risks or hazards||No information – no problems expected|
|Maturity||The application of lab-on-a-chip technology is still novel and modest. A great deal of work still needs to be done, at present it is an active field of academic research. Commercial exploitation is slow so far, but is gaining pace .|
|Modularity /Implementation||Will replace single- or multi lab processes down to chip-format.|
|Consumer aspects||No information – no problems expected|
|Legal aspects||No information|
|Environmental aspects||Given the low fluid volumes used, the amount of chemical waste is much reduced.|
Facilities that might be interesting for you
|Institutes||KU Leuven MeBioS, IMEC, ISAS|
|References|| 1. Whitesides, GM. (2006). The origins and the future of microfluidics, Nature, 442(7101), 368-373.
2. Janasek, D., Franzke, J., Manz, A. (2006). Scaling and the design of miniaturized chemical analysis systems, Nature, 442(7101), 374-380.
3. de Mello, AJ. (2006). Control and detection of chemical reactions in microfluidic systems, Nature, 442(7101), 394-402.
4. Yager, P., Edwards, T., Fu, E., Helton, K., Nelson, K., Tam, MR., Weigl, BH. (2006). Microfluidic diagnostic technologies for global public health, Nature, 442(7101), 412-418.
5. Oosterbroek, E., van den Berg, A. (2003). Lab-on-a-chip: miniaturized systems for (bio)chemical analysis and synthesis, Elsevier Science, 2nd edition, pg. 402, ISBN 0444511008