Lab on a Chip

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Lab on a Chip is a form of micro-analytic processing referred to as microfluidics - a form of engineered fluid management on a micro scale which promises to improve diagnostics and research. These techniques are also referred to as "miniaturized total analytic systems" or µTAS. These techniques were first developed by the semi-conductor industry and later expanded by the micro-electromechanical systems field. [1]



The advantages of Lab on a Chip microfluidic processing are: to reduce the sample volume substantially; to reduce the cost of reagents and maximize information gleaned from precious samples; to provide gains in scalability for screening applications and batch sample processing analogous to multi-well plates; and to provide the investigator with substantially more control and predictability of the spatio-temporal dynamics of the cell microenvironment.[1]

These devices are capable of performing qualitative and quantitative analyses without the need for equipment with a large footprint. More specifically, with further development, microfluidics holds the promise of providing the capability to perform analyses in context-specific settings without the need for large sample volumes nor the wait for determination. Lab on a Chip, as a platform, could become a major component in the further development of wearables, capable of communicating with personal health records or in an institutional setting, with electronic healthcare records.



  1. 1.0 1.1 Sackmann EK, Fulton AL, Beebe DJ. The present and future role of microfluidics in biomedical research. Nature. 2014 Mar 13;507(7491):181–9.