Features | Partner Sites | Information | LinkXpress
Sign In
GLOBETECH PUBLISHING
JIB
GLOBETECH PUBLISHING

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



comments powered by Disqus

Channels

Genomics/Proteomics

view channel
Image: Diagram illustrates the innovative process that could lead to more effective drugs against influenza infection (Photo courtesy of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem).

Researchers Show How the Influenza Virus Blocks Natural Killer Cell Recognition

A team of molecular virologists has described how the influenza virus evolved a defense mechanism to protect it from attack by the immune system's natural killer (NK) cells. The recognition of pathogen-infected... Read more

Drug Discovery

view channel
Image: Synthetic ion transporters can induce apoptosis by facilitating chloride anion transport into cells (Photo courtesy of the University of Texas, Austin).

Experimental Drug Kills Cancer Cells by Interfering with Their Ion Transport Mechanism

An experimental anticancer drug induces cells to enter a molecular pathway leading to apoptosis by skewing their ion transport systems to greatly favor the influx of chloride anions. To promote development... Read more

Therapeutics

view channel
Image: Liver cells regenerated in mice treated with a new drug (right) compared with a control group (center) after partial liver removal. Healthy liver cells are shown at left (Photo courtesy of Marshall et al, 2014, the Journal of Experimental Medicine).

New Drug Triggers Liver Regeneration After Surgery

Investigators have revealed that an innovative complement inhibitor decreases complement-mediated liver cell death, and actually stimulates postsurgery liver regrowth in mice. Liver cancer often results... Read more

Business

view channel

Partnership Established to Decode Bowel Disease

23andMe (Mountain View, CA,USA), a personal genetics company, is collaborating with Pfizer, Inc. (New York, NY, USA), in which the companies will seek to enroll 10,000 people with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) in a research project designed to explore the genetic factors associated with the onset, progression, severity,... Read more
 
Copyright © 2000-2014 Globetech Media. All rights reserved.