Archive for January, 2018

EMBL Microfluidics 2018 Conference

EMBL Microfuidics 2018 Conference will be held at EMBL Heidelberg, Germany between 15th-17th July 2018

“The EMBL Microfluidics Conference 2018 aims to bring together top researchers in the field and to spark scientific exchange, also across different disciplines. The latest Lab-on-a-Chip technologies and applications will be presented, which should be of major interest for experts as well as scientists looking for a first glance at this exciting new technology.”

Over the past years microfluidic approaches have been used for a variety of applications, including nucleotide sequencing, functional genomics, single-cell/single-molecule studies and diagnostics. Many of these applications, including next-generation sequencing devices, have been revolutionised by miniaturisation, paving the way for global gene analysis and hence transforming biology. Small objects such as cells, or even discrete parts thereof, can be exposed to unique conditions, facilitating entirely novel approaches in modern biology and chemistry.

Confirmed speakers include Lab on a Chip Associate Editors Petra Dittrich (ETH Zurich) and Hang Lu (Georgia Institute of Technology), Lab on a Chip Editorial Board member Piotr Garstecki (Polish Academy of Sciences) and Lab on a Chip Advisory Board members Amy E. Herr (UC Berkeley) and Dave Weitz (Harvard University).

LOCATION & DATES 

EMBL Heidelberg, Germany 15 – 17 Jul 2018

DEADLINES:

 Registration – 4 Jun 2018 

Abstract – 23 Apr 2018

Lab on a Chip  Editor-in-Chief, Abe Lee will be chairing a session during the conference and Deputy Editor, Maria Southall will also be attending the conference.

For further information on the conference, please visit the main website. To register, please click here.

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Why should we use optofluidics for monitoring marine environment?

Phosphorus is found in natural waters and exerts a major influence on the composition and structure of aquatic ecosystems. It is a crucial nutrient for planktons and algae, which feed fish and other marine organisms. However, human activities may result in excess amount of phosphorus, which, in turn, causes harmful algae to bloom in natural waters. The bloom creates a hostile environment to other forms of marine life by consuming the available oxygen in the sea, and producing toxins. Sea organisms such as fish swim away from the blooms, but the ones that cannot swim, such as shellfish, unfortunately die. We do care about this occurrence as it negatively affects natural life and the economy. There is only one way to interpret the effect of continuously changing phosphorus levels on the strength of the biological pump: real-time monitoring of phosphate levels in the marine environment!

Figure 1. The design of the Fabry-Pérot microcavity, consisting of two parallel mirrors (reflectors) fabricated by coating the surface of the optical fibers with a gold layer. The light is reflected by the mirrors multiple times to enhance the signal. Adapted from Zhu et al., 2017.

Conventional vs. optofluidic monitoring instruments

Conventional phosphate monitoring instruments are mostly used for on-site sampling, then the fresh sample is transported to a laboratory for determining the phosphate level. Laboratories complete one round of analysis in 20 min, often using spectrophotometrical measurement tools. Given the conditions, real-time phosphate monitoring easily becomes laborious, time consuming, and costly. To address this challenge, researchers in Chinese Academy of Sciences, Wuhan University, and The First Institute of Oceanography in China collaborated to develop a portable optofluidic phosphate monitoring tool. However, prototyping an optofluidic marine phosphate detection tool is not straightforward because an absorption cell—a component core to the measurement unit—is simply too big to fit in a microchip. Instead of using a bulky absorption cell, researchers considered integrating a Fabry-Pérot cavity in the microsystem. The Fabry-Pérot cavity consists of two parallel optical fibers with a spacing in between. The cross-sectional surface of each optical fiber is coated with a thin layer of gold to create reflector surfaces (Figure 1) in order to enhance the absorption of phosphate. Shortening the spacing between the reflectors decreases the analysis time from minutes to seconds.

 

How it works?

In the microchip, filtered water sample and a chromogenic reagent are injected into a curved microchannel. After the chromogenic reaction, the water-soluble components are transported into the optical section (Figure 2). The probe light is sent into the Fabry-Pérot cavity via one of the fibers, bounces between the reflectors multiple times to increase the optical feedback and then analyzed by the detector. The obtained absorbance value, therefore, increases linearly with increasing phosphate concentration. In this microsystem, phosphate detection range is 0.1-100 µmol per liter (400 times greater than the range of a conventional instrument) and detection time is 4 seconds (300 times shorter than detection time of a conventional instrument). The authors of the paper think that this technology can be applied to detect other nutrient levels as well as pH changes in marine environment.

 

optofluidic phosphate monitoring

Figure 2. A schematic of the optofluidic microchip consisting of two parts: the microfluidics circuit forming the microreactor in the microchannel, and the optical part to provide optical feedback for enhanced absorption analysis. Adapted from Zhu et al., 2017.

To download the full article for free* click the link below:

 

Optofluidic marine phosphate detection with enhanced absorption using a Fabry–Pérot resonator

M. Zhu, Y. Shi, X. Q. Zhu, Y. Yang, F. H. Jiang, C. J. Sun, W. H. Zhaoc, and X. T. Hanc

Lab Chip, 2017, Lab on a Chip Recent Hot Articles

DOI: 10.1039/C7LC01016H

 

About the Webwriter

Burcu Gumuscu is a postdoctoral fellow in Herr Lab at UC Berkeley in the United States. Her research interests include development of microfluidic devices for quantitative analysis of proteins from single-cells, next generation sequencing, compartmentalized organ-on-chip studies, and desalination of water on the microscale.

*until 16th February 2018

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Lab on a chip – from molecular assays to organs on a chip: a symposium by the Royal Society of Chemistry and ETH Zurich

The Lab on a chip – from molecular assays to organs on a chip symposium will be held on 10th April 2018, Basel, Switzerland. 

The Royal Society of Chemistry journal Lab on a Chip and ETH Zurich are delighted to present this symposium, which will showcase the high impact research from the groups of the Lab on a Chip Editorial Board members. The research presented will be on a wide variety of cutting-edge topics in line with the ethos and scope of the journal.

Editor-in-Chief, Abe Lee, Associate Editor, Petra Dittrich and Executive Editor, Sam Keltie warmly invite you to take part in this event and look forward to welcoming you in Basel.

Confirmed speakers

Yoon-Kyoung Cho, UNIST, South Korea

Petra Dittrich, ETH Zurich, Switzerland

Xudong Fan, University of Michigan, USA

Piotr Garstecki, Institute of Physical Chemistry, Polish Academy of Sciences, Poland

Martinus Gijs, EPFL, Switzerland

Abraham Lee, University of California, Irvine, USA

Hang Lu, Georgia Institute of Technology, USA

Jianhua Qin, Dalian Institute of Chemical Physics, China

Manabu Tokeshi, Hokkaido University, Japan

Aaron Wheeler, University of Toronto, Canada

Roland Zengerle, Hahn-Schickard, Germany

Aims

The symposium will bring together exceptional researchers – all leading names in their field – for an outstanding plenary programme, together with an open lunch for all attendees that will provide many networking opportunities.

Registration

Registration for the event is required, as we have limited spaces at the venue. Registration costs are students & graduate students 20 CHF, postdocs & group leaders: 40 CHF, industry 80 CHF. Book now

Venue

Hotel Bildungszentrum 21, Missionsstr. 21, CH – 4055 Basel, Switzerland

Contact Information

Dr Sam Keltie

Executive Editor, Lab on a Chip

Royal Society of Chemistry

loc-rsc@rsc.org

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Manabu Tokeshi – Our new Associate Editor

We are delighted to announce our new Associate Editor – Manabu Tokeshi!

“I am excited to join the editorial team of Lab on a Chip, my favorite Journal ever since its inception.  I am looking forward to seeing your excellent research in this Journal.”

Manabu Tokeshi is a Professor at the Division of Applied Chemistry at Hokkaido University, Japan and a visiting Professor at the ImPACT Research Center for Advanced Nanobiodevice, Innovative Research Center for Preventive Medical Engineering, and Institute of Innovation for Future Society at Nagoya University.

He received his PhD degree from Kyushu University, Japan. After a research fellowship of the Japan Society of Promotion of Science at The University of Tokyo, he worked at Kanagawa Academy of Science and Technology as a researcher, group subleader and group leader. Before joining Hokkaido University as Professor in 2011, Manabu worked at the Institute of Microchemistry Technology Co. Ltd. as President and at Nagoya University as an Associate Professor.

Professor Tokeshi is a board member of the Chemical & Biological Microsystem Society (CBMS) which oversees the International Conference on Miniaturized Systems for Chemical and Life Sciences (mTAS). He has received various awards for his work, including the Outstanding Researcher Award on Chemistry and Micro-Nano Systems from the Society for Chemistry and Micro-Nano Systems (2007), the Lab on a Chip/Corning Inc Pioneers in Miniaturization Lectureship (2007) and the Masao Horiba Award from HORIBA, Ltd. (2011).

His research interests are in the development of micro- and nano-systems for chemical, biochemical, and clinical applications. You can find out more about Manabu’s research on his homepage.

Manabu will be handling papers from 1st January 2017, so submit your best work to him!

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