Author Archive

Congratulations to the MSB 2017 best poster award winners

MSB 2017 was held from March 26th – 29th, in Noordwijkerhout, The Netherlands. Lab on a Chip was involved in the best poster competition, along with fellow RSC journals Analyst and Analytical Methods. The competition was Judged by an international panel of scientists, which was chaired by Dr Monika Dittman, Agilent Technologies, Germany. All posters were judged on the following criteria:

Novelty and originality of the work, creativity and potential for innovation;

Scope of work, technical quality of experimental design, and execution of experiments;

Readability of the presentation and author’s explanations.

For the Lab on a Chip sponsored prize, the award winner received a free, one year e-subscription to Lab on a Chip. Congratulations to all of the prize winners.

Three of the best poster award winners, along with conference co-chair Rawi Ramautar (far left) and chair of the poster prize award panel, Monika Dittman (far right)

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Digital Whispers: Novel optical sensors enable label-free sensing with digital microfluidics

If you’ve ever visited St. Paul’s Cathedral in London or Grand Central Terminal in New York, you may be familiar with the interesting acoustic phenomenon termed a “whispering gallery”. The domed geometry of these structures allows sound to echo around the chambers such that a whisper spoken along the wall on one side can be clearly heard at the other end. This phenomenon can also apply to light, and microstructures tuned to a specific wavelength of light can be used as resonating sensors. Whispering-gallery mode (WGM) micro-goblet lasers use this phenomenon and can detect changes in the refractive index of the surrounding media as well as changes to the surface. This makes them ideal as label-free sensors that can detect changes to the surfaces of the microgoblets. When their surfaces are functionalized with capture moieties (e.g., antibodies, nucleic acids etc.) they can be used for sensitive label-free detection and would be a great tool to incorporate with microfluidics.

In their recent report, Wondimu et al. integrated arrays totaling 5,000 individually addressable sensors with a digital microfluidic (DMF) chip. DMF offers precise handling of nL-µL volume droplets in a compact format and with no moving parts. Typically, WGM sensors require coupling to fiber optics, but by doping the micro-goblets with organic dyes they can be operated as optically pumped lasers. This makes operating them less bulky and fits well with the streamlined philosophy behind DMF (i.e., no pumps, tubing, or connections). The fabrication of these large arrays is simple and relies on wet-etching and reflowing. Thus, scale-up is relatively straightforward. In their report, Wondimu et al. demonstrated the functionality of these sensors by testing liquids with different refractive indices as well as performing quantitative detection of streptavidin-biotin binding on the sensor surfaces. While these examples serve a demonstrative purpose, it will be possible to use these sensors for multiplexed affinity-based biosensing such as antibodies, nucleic acids, and aptamers. This will be a big leap for DMF as there haven’t been any examples of integrated multiplexed sensing on this scale before. One area where this could be applied to is the development of platforms to culture cells and perform multiplexed, label-free genetic analysis—a true micro total analysis system!

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


Integration of digital microfluidics with whispering-gallery mode sensors for label-free detection of biomolecules
Sentayehu F. Wondimu, Sebastian von der Ecken, Ralf Ahrens, Wolfgang Freude, Andreas E. Guber and Christian Koos
Lab Chip, 2017
DOI: 10.1039/C6LC01556E

*Free to access until 6th June 2017.


About the Webwriter

Darius Rackus is finishing his Ph.D. at the University of Toronto working in the Wheeler Lab. His research interests are in combining sensors with digital microfluidics for healthcare applications.

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New YouTube Videos

C-reactive protein and Interleukin 6 microfluidic immunoassays with on-chip pre-stored reagents and centrifugo-pneumatic liquid control

 
In situ mRNA isolation from a microfluidic single-cell array using an external AFM nanoprobe

 
Selective particle and cell capture in a continuous flow using micro-vortex acoustic streaming

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Emerging Investigator Series for Lab on a Chip

Starting in 2017, Lab on a Chip will be running an Emerging Investigator Series to showcase some of the best work in the field of miniaturisation at the micro- and nano-scale, being conducted by early-career researchers. The Series will ongoing, with articles being published once they are accepted and collated online.

There are many benefits for Emerging Investigators contributing to the series, with articles being featured in an online collection and receiving extensive promotion. This includes a special mention in journal contents alerts and an interview on the journal blog. Published articles will also be made free to access for a limited period. Furthermore, the continuous format is designed to allow more flexibility for contributors to participate in the venture without the restriction of submission deadlines.

We’ve received great feedback from previous Emerging Investigators, including this quote: “Being part of the Emerging Investigators issue was an honor and helpful to my career.  Thanks again for including me” (2012 Emerging Investigator)

To represent the whole of the Lab on a Chip community, the Series will have two international Series Editors with a broad range of expertise: Editorial Board members, Dino Di Carlo (UCLA, USA), Yoon-Kyoung Cho (UNIST, South Korea) and Piotr Garstecki (IPC PAC, Poland)

 

To be eligible for the new Emerging Investigator Series you will need to have completed your PhD (or equivalent degree) within the last 10 years and have an independent career. If you are interested in contributing to the Series please contact the Editorial Office (loc-rsc@rsc.org) and provide the following information:

  • Your up-to-date CV (no longer than 2 pages), which should include a summary of education and career, a list of relevant publications, any notable awards, honours or professional activities in the field, and a website URL if relevant;
  • A title and abstract of the research article intended to be submitted to the Series, including a tentative submission date. Please note that articles submitted to the journal for the Series will undergo the usual peer review process.

Keep up to date with the latest papers added to this Series on our twitter feed (@LabonaChip) with the hashtags #EmergingInvestigators #LabonaChip

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New YouTube Videos

Device and programming abstractions for spatiotemporal control of active micro-particle swarms

 
Biophysical isolation and identification of circulating tumor cells

 
Frequency tuning allows flow direction control in microfluidic network with passive features

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Game on!

Researchers at Standford University develop multi-level programming language for biotic games using swarms of microorganisms

Computer games are a ubiquitous pastime and a great example of how a single programming language give rise to a myriad of games. But what about biotic games? How could you program biological systems to function in an interactive way? Biotic games are interactive applications that interface biology and computer science for the promotion of science. The Riedel-Kruse Lab at Standford specialize in developing biotic games that use light to control swarms of Euglena gracilis—a phototaxic microorganism that avoids—and can direct, capture, and move whole swarms or individual organisms.

But programming swarms of microorganisms is no easy task. Swarms exhibit collective behaviour and therefore need to be controlled through local context rather than at the individual level. In their recent publication, the Riedel-Kruse Lab developed a set of hierarchical programming abstractions that allows swarms of Euglena within a biological processing unit (BPU; i.e., chip, microscope, and light stimuli) to be programmed in a single and efficient language at the stimulus, swarm, and system levels. At the lowest level, stimulus space programming (which the authors analogize to machine code) allows the programmer to have direct control over the various stimuli (e.g., turn left light on for 3 s), independent of the Euglena. Higher level programming at the swarm and system levels are more general and commands are given in terms of what the user wants the Euglena or system to do. For instance, swarm space commands direct the swarm in different operations such as move, split, and combine. System space commands incorporate conditional statements that can be used to confine a specific number of Euglena to a certain region or to clear Euglena from the field of view, for example.

 

 

While Lam et al. used this new language to program a biotic game, this new language and approach to swarm programming could be generalized for any type of swarm and stimuli. One application could be to program swarms to construct complex structures on the microscale. In future, by increasing access to BPUs through cloud computing and releasing this new programming language it will be possible for hobbyists and researchers alike to write new programs and applications. And maybe this is just the beginning of a revolution like the one ushered in by the release of the personal microcomputer.

 

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

Device and programming abstractions for spatiotemporal control of active micro-particle swarms

Amy T. Lam, Karina G. Samuel-Gama, Jonathan Griffin, Matthew Loeun, Lukas C. Gerber, Zahid Hossain, Nate J. Cira, Seung Ah Lee and Ingmar H. Riedel-Kruse

Lab Chip, 2017,17, 1442-1451

DOI: 10.1039/C7LC00131B

 

*Free to access until 24th May 2017.

 


About the Webwriter

Darius Rackus is finishing his Ph.D. at the University of Toronto working in the Wheeler Lab. His research interests are in combining sensors with digital microfluidics for healthcare applications.

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New YouTube Videos

A vascularized and perfused organ-on-a-chip platform for large-scale drug screening applications

 

Pneumatic stimulation of C. elegansmechanoreceptor neurons in a microfluidic trap

 
Improved bovine embryo production in an oviduct-on-a-chip system: Prevention of poly-spermic fertilization and parthenogenic activation

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New YouTube Videos

Liquid-capped encoded microcapsules for multiplex assays




Pinch-off Dynamics and Dripping-onto-Substrate (DoS) Rheometry of Complex Fluids




3D microvascular model recapitulates the diffuse large B-cell lymphoma tumor microenvironment in vitro

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2017 MicroTAS Video Competition

Lab on a Chip is pleased to announce the 2017 MicroTAS Video Competition in partnership with Dolomite Microfluidics and supported by μTAS and Chemical and Biological Microsystems Society (CBMS).

We invite registered μTAS participants to submit short videos (see terms and conditions below) that are either scientifically or educationally focused. Videos may be fun, artistic or just surprising and unusual in order to meet these criteria.

Dolomite Microfluidics, innovators in microfluidic solutions, are sponsoring this competition with the prize of $1500 worth of Dolomite equipment.

If you have an idea for a video that you would like to share with the μTAS community read the entry conditions below!

 

Deadline: 23rd October 2017

 

Terms and Conditions

  • Only participants registered for the MicroTAS conference can take part and submit videos.
  • Videos must be either scientific (demonstrating interesting aspects) or educational (enhancing understanding) with respect to micro- or nanofluidics.
  • Videos can be enhanced by audio, animations, or annotations.
  • Videos should be no longer than 2 minutes with a file size less than 25 Mbytes (please use appropriate video compression).
  • Videos must be viewable on a PC without special software (.mpg, .mp4, .mov, .avi or .wmv).
  • All videos are submitted on the basis that they may be used by LOC and/or CBMS for promotional purposes in any form.
  • Assessment by an international panel of judges will take place at MicroTAS 2017 and the judges’ decision will be final.
  • The prize will be awarded at MicroTAS 2017, and a voucher for the equipment will be presented to the person submitting the winning entry.
  • The video submission deadline is the end of Monday, 23rd October, 2017 (Honolulu, Hawaii, USA time).

 

Video Award Submission Process – Easy 3 Step Process

Step 1. Sign-In to the Electronic Form Using Your Registration Number

Please have your Registration Number accessible. If you are unable to locate your Registration Number, please contact info@microtas2017.org.

Step 2. Fill in information on Electronic Submission Form

Please fill in information on the electronic submission form including title of image and your caption.

Step 3. Upload Your Video

All entries are to be submitted online via this website  as .mpg, .mp4, .mov, .avi or .wmv. Once your entry has been successfully uploaded and submitted, you will be given an entry number and you will be sent a confirmation email with the information you provided, minus the video. The ability to submit a video will close at the end of Monday, 23rd October 2017 (Honolulu, Hawaii, USA time).

Good Luck!

 

Previous winners:

MicroTAS 2016 Conference, Dublin, Ireland
Micropillars Chocolate Cake
Enrica Rollo
EPFL, Switzerland

MicroTAS 2015 Conference, Gyeongju, Korea
Spin Me Right Round

David Kinahan, Ducrée Labs, Dublin City University, Ireland

MicroTAS 2014 Conference, San Antonio, Texas, USA
Magnetotactic Bacteria
Tijmen Hageman, KIST Europe GmbH, Germany

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Pioneers of Miniaturization Lectureship 2017

Lab on a Chip and Dolomite are proud to sponsor the twelfth Pioneers of Miniaturization Lectureship, to honour and support the up and coming, next generation of scientists who have significantly contributed to the understanding or development of miniaturised systems. This year’s Lectureship will be presented at the µTAS 2017 Conference in Savannah, Georgia, USA with the recipient receiving a prize of US$2,000.

Who should you nominate?

Early to mid-career scientists (maximum 15 years post completion of PhD).

Scientists who have demonstrated extraordinary contributions to the understanding or development of miniaturised systems.

How do you nominate?

Submit your nominations to Lab on a Chip Editor Sam Keltie at LOC-RSC@rsc.org

Nominations should include:

  • Full contact and affiliation details of the person making the nomination.
  • A letter of nomination with the candidate’s accomplishments and why the lectureship is deserved. (The nominee must be aware that he/she has been nominated for this lectureship.)
  • A list of the candidate’s relevant publications or recent work (all work should be original).
  • Candidate’s scientific CV stating PhD completion date; address; and full contact details.

Nomination Deadline: 15 May 2017

Who has won the Pioneers of Miniaturization Lectureship in the past?

  • 2016: Professor Daniel Irimia, Massachusetts General Hospital, USA
  • 2015: Professor Dino Di Carlo, University of California, Los Angeles, USA
  • 2014: Professor Sangeeta N. Bhatia, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA
  • 2013: Professor Shuichi Takayama, University of Michigan, USA
  • 2012: Professor Andrew deMello, ETH Zürich, Switzerland
  • 2011: Professor Ali Khademhosseini, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA
  • 2010: Professor Stephen Quake, Stanford University, USA
  • 2009: Professor Abe Lee, University of California, Irvine, USA
  • 2008: Dr Patrick Doyle, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA
  • 2007: Dr Manabu Tokeshi, Nagoya University, Japan
  • 2006: Dr David Beebe, University of Wisconsin, USA

Terms and Conditions

The Lectureship consists of the following elements:

  • A prize of US$2,000. No other financial contribution will be offered
  • A certificate recognising the winner of the lectureship
  • The awardee is required to give a short lecture at the 2017 µTAS Conference

The award is for early to mid-career scientists (maximum 15 years post completion of PhD).

The award is for extraordinary or outstanding contributions to the understanding or development of miniaturised systems. This will be judged mainly through their top 1-3 papers and/or an invention documented by patents/or a commercial product. Awards and honorary memberships may also be considered.

The winner will be expected to submit at least two significant publications to Lab on a Chip in the 12 months after the lectureship is awarded.

Nominations from students and self-nominations are not permissible.

The decision on the winner of the lectureship will be made by a panel of judges coordinated by the Editor, and this decision will be final.

Sponsors

Dolomite

Dolomite Microfluidics has grown to be the world leader in the design and manufacture of innovative microfluidic products. Modularity, ease of use and scalability are common to all Dolomite products, which are used across a broad range of applications in biology, drug discovery, chemistry, food, cosmetics and academia. Dolomite is a world leader in Productizing Science™ which means creating marketable and commercially successful products from scientific discovery. Dolomite is a part of the Blacktrace group of companies.

Lab on a Chip

Lab on a Chip provides a unique forum for the publication of significant and original work related to miniaturisation, at the micro- and nano-scale, of interest to a multidisciplinary readership. The journal seeks to publish work at the interface between physical technological advancements and high impact applications that are of direct interest to a broad audience.

 

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