Author Archive

New YouTube Videos

Automated and controlled mechanical stimulation and functional imaging in vivo in C. elegans

 
On-chip cell sorting by high-speed local-flow control using dual membrane pumps

 
Photoelectrochemical ion concentration polarization: membraneless ion filtration based on light-driven electrochemical reactions

 

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New YouTube Videos

Size-Tunable Microvortex Capture of Rare Cells

 
Droplet-based light-sheet fluorescent microscopy for high-throughput sample preparation, 3-D imaging and quantitative analysis on a chip

 
Organs-on-Chips with combined multi-electrode array and transepithelial electrical resistance measurement capabilities

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A Versatile Microfluidic Device for High Throughput Production of Microparticles and Cell Microencapsulation

 
Universal signal generator for dynamic cell stimulation

 

Deterministic trapping, encapsulation and retrieval of single-cells

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2017 Art in Science Competition

 

The µTAS 2017 Conference will feature the 10th Art in Science competition entitled ‘Under the Looking Glass: Art from the World of Small Science‘, sponsored and supported by National Institute of Standards and TechnologyLab on a ChipMicroTAS and the Chemical and Biological Microsystems Society.

Deadline 23rd October 2017 at 23:59 Honolulu, Hawaii, USA time

Since the earliest publications of the scientific world, the aesthetic value of scientific illustrations and images has been critical to many researchers. The illustrations and diagrams of earlier scientists such as Galileo and Da Vinci have become iconic symbols of science and the scientific thought process.

In current scientific literature, many scientists consider the selection of a publication as a “cover article” in a prestigious journal to be very complimentary.

Are you attending the µTAS 2017 Conference?
Would you like your image to be featured on the cover of Lab on a Chip?
Would you like to win a financial reward?

To draw attention to the aesthetic value in scientific illustration while still conveying scientific merit, NIST, LOC and CBMSare sponsoring this annual competition. Applications are encouraged from authors in attendance of the µTAS Conference and the winner will be selected by a panel of judges.

Applications must show a photograph, micrograph or other accurate representation of a system that would be of interest to the µTAS community and be represented in the final manuscript or presentation given at the Conference.

They must also contain a brief caption that describes the illustration’s content and its scientific merit. The winner will be selected on the basis of aesthetic eye appeal, artistic allure and scientific merit. In addition to having the image featured on the cover of Lab on a Chip, the winner will also receive a financial prize at the Conference.


Art in Science Competition Submission Process

Step 1. Sign-In to the Electronic Form Using Your Abstract/Manuscript Number

Step 2. Fill in Remaining Information on Electronic Submission Form

Step 3. Upload Your Image

Good Luck!

You can also take a look at the winners from last year on our blog.

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Freshwater from any water: a miniature hybrid water treatment and desalination system

With global freshwater supplies in decline, it is becoming more and more important to develop new technologies for water treatment. Given that much of the world is covered in saltwater, desalination is becoming an attractive option for generating fresh drinking water. However, the energy and capital costs of desalination can be prohibitive. Portable and scalable systems for water treatment and desalination would be useful in delivering freshwater to those who need it. Further, portable desalination systems would be particularly useful during humanitarian crises that arise due to intense weather events (e.g., hurricanes, tsunamis) in coastal regions.

Researchers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have recently developed a proof-of-concept microfluidic device for water treatment and desalination using electrochemical methods. The device uses two electrochemical techniques for water purification; electrocoagulation to remove particulate matter (including microorganisms) and ion concentration polarization to desalinate the water. In electrocoagulation, a sacrificial anode is oxidized to release metal coagulants that bind up and flocculate material in the water. Ion concentration polarization utilizes an electric field across an ion exchange membrane to generate an ion-rich and an ion-poor region, which can then be separated. The microfluidic device designed by Choi et al. uses one common pair of electrodes across several microchannels to achieve both electrocoagulation and ion concentration polarization. This has the advantage of minimizing power consumption as no extra power is needed to couple the two treatment methods. In their report, they demonstrated that the new hybrid device could remove nearly 90% of E. coli cells and approximately 95% of particulate matter as well as bring salt concentrations down from 20 mM NaCl to 8.6 mM NaCl (a drinkable level).

The work presented in this report lays the foundation for a truly universal and portable water treatment system. Someday you will be able to take water from any source—waste, seawater, or freshwater—and turn it into fresh clean drinking water. This will not only help those who do not have regular access to freshwater, but will be a great tool to have on hand in emergency situations.

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

Integrated pretreatment and desalination by electrocoagulation (EC)–ion concentration polarization (ICP) hybrid
Siwon Choi, Bumjoo Kim and Jongyoon Han
Lab Chip, 2017, 17, 2076-2084
DOI: 10.1039/C7LC00258K

*Free to access until 7th July 2017.


About the Webwriter

Darius Rackus is a postdoctoral researcher 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 scalable self-priming fractal branching microchannel net chip for digital PCR


Automatic concentration and reformulation of PET tracers via microfluidic membrane distillation


Rapid Large Area Fabrication of Multiscale Through-hole Membrane

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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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