Features | Partner Sites | Information | LinkXpress
Sign In
GLOBETECH PUBLISHING LLC
GLOBETECH PUBLISHING LLC
GLOBETECH MEDIA

Switch to CAD Technology Greatly Improves Lab-On-A-Chip Capability

By BiotechDaily International staff writers
Posted on 12 May 2014
The lab-on-a-chip holds potential for reducing cost of medical diagnostics while expanding access to health care. Now scientists have developed computer aided design (CAD) software to enable far more than one or two tests on a single chip.

In the near future healthcare professionals may be able to routinely run clinical lab tests almost instantly on a digital microfluidic machine about the size of credit card. These lab-on-a-chips (LOCs) would not only be quick—results available in minutes—but also inexpensive and portable. They could be used at point-of-care, and even at long distance from the nearest medical clinic.

But as powerful as they may be, they could be far better, said Shiyan Hu, associate professor of electrical and computer engineering at Michigan Technological University (MTU; Houghton, MI, USA). Current LOCs can generally run no more than a test or two because the chips are designed manually. If the LOCs were made using computer-aided design (CAD), you could run dozens of tests with, for example, a single drop of blood. “In a very short time, you could test for many conditions,” said Prof. Hu; “This really would be an entire lab on a chip.” With PhD student Chen Liao, Prof. Hu has taken the first step. “We have developed software to design the hardware,” he said.

Their work, described in, and featured on the cover of, the March, 2014, edition of the journal IEEE Transactions on Nanobiosciences, focuses on routing a droplet of blood or other fluid through each test on the chip efficiently while avoiding contamination. A key part in LOC CAD is physical-level synthesis. It includes the LOC placement and routing, where placement is to determine the physical location and the starting time of each operation, and routing is to transport each droplet from the source to the destination.

“It has taken us four years to do the software, but to manufacture the LOC would be inexpensive,” said Prof. Hu; “The materials are very cheap, and the results are more accurate than a conventional lab’s.” Prof. Hu plans to fabricate their own biochip using their software.

Related Links:

Michigan Technological University



Channels

Genomics/Proteomics

view channel
Image: Pluristem technicians produce PLacental eXpanded (PLX) cells in the company\'s state-of-the-art facility (Photo courtesy of Pluristem Therapeutics).

Placental Cells Secrete Factors That Protect Nerves from Ischemic Damage

Cells derived from placenta have been found to protect PC12 cells—rat-derived cells that behave similarly to and are used as stand-ins to study human nerve cells—in a culture-based ischemic stroke model.... Read more

Drug Discovery

view channel
Image: Researchers have attached two drugs—TRAIL and Dox—onto graphene strips. TRAIL is most effective when delivered to the external membrane of a cancer cell, while Dox is most effective when delivered to the nucleus, so the researchers designed the system to deliver the drugs sequentially, with each drug hitting a cancer cell where it will do the most damage (Photo courtesy of Dr. Zhen Gu, North Carolina State University).

Anticancer Drug Delivery System Utilizes Graphene Strip Transporters

The ongoing search by cancer researchers for targeted drug delivery systems has generated a novel approach that uses graphene strips to transport simultaneously the anticancer agents TRAIL (tumor necrosis... Read more

Biochemistry

view channel

Blocking Enzyme Switch Turns Off Tumor Growth in T-Cell Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia

Researchers recently reported that blocking the action of an enzyme “switch” needed to activate tumor growth is emerging as a practical strategy for treating T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia. An estimated 25% of the 500 US adolescents and young adults diagnosed yearly with this aggressive disease fail to respond to... Read more

Therapeutics

view channel
Image: Cancer cells infected with tumor-targeted oncolytic virus (red). Green indicates alpha-tubulin, a cell skeleton protein. Blue is DNA in the cancer cell nuclei (Photo courtesy of Dr. Rathi Gangeswaran, Bart’s Cancer Institute).

Innovative “Viro-Immunotherapy” Designed to Kill Breast Cancer Cells

A leading scientist has devised a new treatment that employs viruses to kill breast cancer cells. The research could lead to a promising “viro-immunotherapy” for patients with triple-negative breast cancer,... Read more

Business

view channel

Program Designed to Provide High-Performance Computing Cluster Systems for Bioinformatics Research

Dedicated Computing (Waukesha, WI, USA), a global technology company, reported that it will be participating in the Intel Cluster Ready program to deliver integrated high-performance computing cluster solutions to the life sciences market. Powered by Intel Xeon processors, Dedicated Computing is providing a range of... Read more
 
Copyright © 2000-2015 Globetech Media. All rights reserved.