Author Archive

LOC issue 2 – sorting stem cell-derived cardiomyocyte clusters, cross talk between cancer and immune cells and Genome Sequence Scanning

Welcome to Issue 2 of Lab on a Chip! This issue features the winner of the Lab on a Chip Pioneers of Miniaturisation Lectureship, Andrew deMello, on the back cover. Read more about this award and others given at MicroTAS here.

On the front cover of issue 2 is featured work from the group of Luke Lee at the University of California, Berkeley, in conjunction with colleagues at Stanford University.

In the paper, the authors use a ‘non-genetic, label-free cell cytometry method based on electrophysiological response to stimulus’ to sort undifferentiated stem cells from heterogeneous stem cell progeny.

The cell cytometer can identify human induced pluripotent stem cell-derived cardiomyocyte clusters from their extracellular field potential signals – these stem cells can then be used for various stem cell therapies.

Label-free electrophysiological cytometry for stem cell-derived cardiomyocyte clusters
Frank B. Myers, Christopher K. Zarins, Oscar J. Abilez and Luke P. Lee
DOI: 10.1039/C2LC40905D

Work from the Italian National Research Council – Institute for Photonics and Nanotechnologies and the Istituto Superiore di Sanità is featured on the inside front cover.

The groups, led by Fabrizio Mattei and Luca Businaro, have used an on-chip co-culture system to investigate interactions between cancer cells and a host’s immune system.

Cross talk between cancer and immune cells: exploring complex dynamics in a microfluidic environment
Luca Businaro, Adele De Ninno, Giovanna Schiavoni, Valeria Lucarini, Gabriele Ciasca, Annamaria Gerardino, Filippo Belardelli, Lucia Gabriele and Fabrizio Mattei
DOI: 10.1039/C2LC40887B

On the inside back cover, work from Robert Meltzer and co-workers at Pathogenetix, Inc. is featured.

In their paper, they present a novel compound funnel design for use with Genome Sequence Scanning (GSS) technology, which improves molecule throughput.

High-throughput genome scanning in constant tension fluidic funnels
Joshua W. Griffis, Ekaterina Protozanova, Douglas B. Cameron and Robert H. Meltzer
DOI: 10.1039/C2LC40943G

As with all our cover articles these are free to access for 6 weeks (following a simple registration for an RSC Publishing account).

Other HOT articles featured in the issue include:

Benchtop fabrication of microfluidic systems based on curable polymers with improved solvent compatibility
Michinao Hashimoto, Robert Langer and Daniel S. Kohane
DOI: 10.1039/C2LC40888K

Microfluidic assisted self-assembly of chitosan based nanoparticles as drug delivery agents
Fatemeh Sadat Majedi, Mohammad Mahdi Hasani-Sadrabadi, Shahriar Hojjati Emami, Mohammad Ali Shokrgozar, Jules John VanDersarl, Erfan Dashtimoghadam, Arnaud Bertsch and Philippe Renaud
DOI: 10.1039/C2LC41045A

Microfluidic devices for X-ray studies on hydrated cells
Britta Weinhausen and Sarah Köster
DOI: 10.1039/C2LC41014A

For even more exciting microfluidics research, read the full issue here.

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Lab on a Chip gives prestigious awards at µTAS 2012

This year’s MicroTAS conference was held in October, at the Okinawa Convention Center in Okinawa, Japan.

As in previous years, Harp Minhas, Editor of Lab on a Chip, was in attendance at the conference to announce the prestigious Lab on a Chip awards, which include the Pioneers of Miniaturisation Lectureship (supported by Corning Inc), the Widmer Young Researcher Poster Prize, and the Art in Science Award (co-sponsored by NIST).

The Widmer Young Researcher Poster Prize

This year’s winner of the Widmer Young Researcher Poster Prize was Klaus Eyer from Professor Petra Dittrich’s lab at ETH Zürich, with his poster entitled ‘Single Cell ELISA’.

Left to right: David Juncker (Poster award chair), Klaus Eyer (winner), Harp Minhas (Lab on a Chip)

Art in Science Award

The Art in Science Award is given each year “to draw attention to the aesthetic value in scientific illustrations while still conveying scientific merit.” This year’s award was presented to Yi Zhang, a PhD student from the Department of Biomedical Engineering, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, USA.

Left to right: Michael Gaitan (NIST), Yi Zhang (winner), Harp Minhas (Lab on a Chip)

The image, entitled ‘Stretching the Rainbow‘, shows a droplet with multiple rainbow stripes being stretched by the magnetic particle on a surface energy traps (SETs)-enabled magnetic digital microfluidic platform. In this particular scenario, the droplet is immobilized by the SET while the magnetic particles are trying to split from the droplet. The rainbow is the natural colour resulting from the diffraction pattern caused by a DVD disc, on which the droplet sits.

Stretching the Rainbow

Pioneers of Miniaturisation Lectureship

The Pioneers of Miniaturisation Lectureship recognises outstanding achievements and significant contributions to the understanding and advancement of micro- and nano-scale science. This year, the Lectureship was awarded to Professor Andrew deMello at ETH Zurich, Switzerland. Among his many achievements and awards, Andrew first demonstrated combinatorial chemistry and controlled nanoparticle synthesis in continuous flow microfluidic devices; co-authored the first demonstration of continuous flow PCR, which has over 750 citations to date; pioneered the application of high-contract fluorescence lifetime imaging to microfluidic environments; founded Molecular Vision Ltd, an in vitro diagnostic company, providing point of care tests for cardiovascular and kidney disease; and has published over 40 articles on droplet-based microfluidics since 2007.

Left to right: Harp Minhas (Lab on a Chip), Andrew deMello (winner), Po Ki Yuen (Corning Inc)

Please join us at Lab on a Chip in congratulating all of our prize winners!

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Idea featured in Lab on a Chip article to benefit from the RSC’s support of Marblar

The RSC has teamed up with an Oxford University spin-out to sponsor six challenges on Marblar – a radical new online platform for finding applications for unused scientific discoveries.

More than 95% of technologies developed in universities never make it to market, leaving publicly or philanthropy-funded research collecting dust on the shelf.  Often, given that academic research can be so ahead of its time, the commercial relevance of these technologies isn’t immediately obvious.

Marblar aims to remove this bottleneck by crowdsourcing ideas for real-world applications from the global science and technology community, with the ultimate goal to create new products and new companies that will drive job creation around these innovative discoveries.

An idea from one Lab on a Chip article – SlipChip – has been chosen as one of the RSC sponsored challenges.

SlipChip is a low-cost microfluidic device that uses only two pieces of plastic or glass to enable the user to perform multiple small-scale chemical reactions simply and precisely. By simply ’slipping’ the glass or plastic ‘chips’ across each other, a number of reactions can be carried out in nanoscale volumes in parallel.

SlipChip was developed at the University of Chicago by Professor Rustem Ismagilov and his then graduate student, Feng Shen. They’ve since created a spinout company called SlipChip based on this technology and Ismagilov has continued his work at the California Institute of Technology. Given the technology’s ability to precisely manipulate reactions in a programmable way, they see applications in multiple fields. Through Marblar, they hope to find ideas beyond their discipline that can exploit SlipChip’s ability to ‘count molecules’, as well as new capabilities for the technology.

Visit the Marblar website to get involved, or read the Lab on a Chip article below:

Digital PCR on a SlipChip
Feng Shen, Wenbin Du, Jason E. Kreutz, Alice Fok and Rustem F. Ismagilov
DOI: 10.1039/C004521G

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Issue 22 – Focus on Scandinavia

Issue 22 of Lab on a Chip features work from Scandinavia – read the editorial from the Guest Editors Professors Thomas Laurell and Jörg Kutter here. The issue features 8 articles from Scandinavian authors, and profiles of the athours included can be found here.

The front cover features work from Jörg Kutter and co-workers at the Technical University of Denmark, reporting on the optical properties of gold nanoparticle probes, used as sensors for environmental contaminants.

Gold nanoparticle-based optical microfluidic sensors for analysis of environmental pollutants
Josiane P. Lafleur, Silja Senkbeil, Thomas G. Jensen and Jörg P. Kutter
DOI: 10.1039/C2LC40543A

Artwork linked to research from Vincent Aimez and colleagues from the Université de Sherbrooke can be seen on the inside front cover of the issue – they have developed a microfluidic device to monitor the radioactivity concentration in the blood of rats and mice in real time.

Blood compatible microfluidic system for pharmacokinetic studies in small animals
Laurence Convert, Frédérique Girard Baril, Vincent Boisselle, Jean-François Pratte, Réjean Fontaine, Roger Lecomte, Paul G. Charette and Vincent Aimez
DOI: 10.1039/C2LC40550D

The back cover of the issue features work from Samir Iqbal and co-workers at the University of Texas and Lehigh University. The team designed a Hele-Shaw device with aptamer functionalized glass beads to isolate cancer cells from a cellular mixture.

Capture, isolation and release of cancer cells with aptamer-functionalized glass bead array
Yuan Wan, Yaling Liu, Peter B. Allen, Waseem Asghar, M. Arif Iftakher Mahmood, Jifu Tan, Holli Duhon, Young-tae Kim, Andrew D. Ellington and Samir M. Iqbal
DOI: 10.1039/C2LC21251J

Other HOT papers in the issue include:

Two-hundredfold volume concentration of dilute cell and particle suspensions using chip integrated multistage acoustophoresis
Maria Nordin and Thomas Laurell
DOI: 10.1039/C2LC40629B

Inertial microfluidics in parallel channels for high-throughput applications
Jonas Hansson, J. Mikael Karlsson, Tommy Haraldsson, Hjalmar Brismar, W. van der Wijngaart and Aman Russom
DOI: 10.1039/C2LC40241F

Low cost integration of 3D-electrode structures into microfluidic devices by replica molding
Benjamin Mustin and Boris Stoeber
DOI: 10.1039/C2LC40728K

A microfluidic device with removable packaging for the real time visualisation of intracellular effects of nanosecond electrical pulses on adherent cells
C. Dalmay, M. A. De Menorval, O. Français, L. M. Mir and B. Le Pioufle
DOI: 10.1039/C2LC40857K

Programmable microfluidic synthesis of spectrally encoded microspheres
R. E. Gerver, R. Gómez-Sjöberg, B. C. Baxter, K. S. Thorn, P. M. Fordyce, C. A. Diaz-Botia, B. A. Helms and J. L. DeRisi
DOI: 10.1039/C2LC40699C

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Point of Care Diagnostics Workshop – 4 Dec 2012, London UK

Point-of-Care Diagnostics Workshop
4 December 2012, Burlington House, London, UK

Point-of-care diagnostic (POC) test devices provide rapid results on an ever expanding range of medical tests, helping to streamline healthcare and improve clinical outcomes. Research on microfluidics for POC applications has increased markedly in recent years, fuelled by an interest in constructing field-deployable analytical instruments. The interest in POC microfluidic-based devices has been intense and has cut across all major disciplines in lab-on-a-chip research, including engineering (biomedical, chemical, electrical, and mechanical), chemistry, and physics.  For further details please visit the website.

Abstract submission deadline: 31 October 2012. Abstract submission is now available online.

Application deadline: 31 October 2012. Application is now available online.

Workshop format
The aims of this Joint Biochemical Society/Royal Society of Chemistry workshop are to provide participants with a better understanding of the challenges involved in translating research outputs into application and to help encourage collaborations with industry and clinicians on POC. The workshop will bring together researchers who work at the interface between biology, chemistry and the wider life and medical sciences. Participants will be encouraged to participate in oral presentations, as well as in discussion groups intended to help move this area forward.

Speakers
Dr Ana Alfirevic, University of Liverpool, UK
Professor Andrew de Mello, ETH Zürich, Switzerland

Attendance is by application only and will be FREE of charge for Biochemical Society and Royal Society of Chemistry members.

This workshop is the fourth of a series entitled “Analytical Tools for the Life Sciences”, a collaborative project between the Biochemical Society and Royal Society of Chemistry members.

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MicroTAS 2012

The Okinawa Convention Center in Okinawa, Japan, will be home to the 16th International Conference on Miniaturized Systems for Chemistry and Life Sciences (µTAS 2012) this October (October 28 to November 1).

Lab on a Chip has a long history with the conference, as Harp Minhas (Editor) is a member of the Founders Advisory Board; Harp will be present in Okinawa to join in the discussions. If you are planning on attending the meeting do introduce yourself to Harp as he would be delighted to meet you.

Another of Harp’s roles at the conference will be announcing the winners of several sponsored prizes:

Lab on a Chip/Corning Inc Pioneers in Miniaturization Lectureship
(sponsored by Lab on a Chip, Corning Inc, and CBMS)

Lab on a Chip Widmer Poster Prize
(sponsored by Lab on a Chip)

The µTAS Art in Science Award
(sponsored by NIST, Lab on a Chip and CBMS)

Keep on eye on the blog for the announcement of the winners after the conference!

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Want to know more about Organs-on-chips? Read our free articles!

As the meeting at the Lorentz Center entitled ‘Organs on Chips: Human Disease Models‘ draws to a close, we thought we’d remind you about the fantastic free* collection of articles we’ve put together from Lab on a Chip and Integrative Biology on the topic.

The collection can be found here, and includes papers such as:

Microengineered physiological biomimicry: Organs-on-Chips
Dongeun Huh, Yu-suke Torisawa, Geraldine A. Hamilton, Hyun Jung Kim and Donald E. Ingber
DOI: 10.1039/C2LC40089H

Organs-on-chips: breaking the in vitro impasse
Andries D. van der Meer and Albert van den Berg
DOI: 10.1039/C2IB00176D

Ensembles of engineered cardiac tissues for physiological and pharmacological study: Heart on a chip
Anna Grosberg, Patrick W. Alford, Megan L. McCain and Kevin Kit Parker
DOI: 10.1039/C1LC20557A

Hurry though, as the collection is only available with free* access till the 8th October!

*Free access is provided to recognised institutions or to individuals through an RSC Publishing Personal Account. Registration is quick and easy at http://pubs.rsc.org/en/account/register.

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HOT article: Digital microfluidics for measuring glucose in human blood serum

Hywel Morgan and colleagues at Sharp Laboratories of Europe, the University of Southampton and Sharp Corporation, Japan, demonstrate a large area digital microfluidic array in this HOT article.

Using a thin film transistor (TFT) array rather than the traditional patterned electrodes usually used in electrowetting on dielectric (EWOD) devices, the team developed active matrix electrowetting on dielectric (AM-EWOD) devices. The TFT array enables each of the many thousand electrodes to be individually addressable, and the array is ‘fully reconfigurable and can be programmed to support multiple simultaneous operations’.

Read how the device can be used for measuring glucose in human blood serum in the full article (it’s free to access for four weeks*!):

Programmable large area digital microfluidic array with integrated droplet sensing for bioassays
B. Hadwen, G. R. Broder, D. Morganti, A. Jacobs, C. Brown, J. R. Hector, Y. Kubota and H. Morgan
DOI: 10.1039/C2LC40273D

*Following a simple registration.

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Introducing our new Associate Editor – Dr Jianhua Qin

We at Lab on a Chip are very pleased to announce our newest Associate Editor – Dr Jianhua Qin. Dr Qin is a Professor at the Dalian Institute of Chemical Physics (DICP), Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) and is the director of the Microfluidics Research Center at DICP. She joined the team at Lab on a Chip in July.

Dr Jianhua Qin received her M.D. in Medical Science from the China Medical University and her Ph.D in Chemistry from CAS, respectively. She was a Postdoc fellow at the University of Toronto. Dr Qin’s research interests are focused on the combination of microfluidics and nanotechnologies to understand natural and dysfunctional biomed-systems that lead to the design of novel diagnostic schemes and therapeutic strategies. Dr Qin is a professor at the Dalian Institute of Chemical Physics (DICP), Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) and is the director of the Microfluidics Research Center at DICP.

Below, Dr Qin shares her views on the growth of microfluidics in China:

Microfluidics has emerged as a distinct new field to greatly influence the multidisciplinary research involved in chemistry, engineering, biology, and physics, as well as medicine. During the last two decades, it has been advancing at a rapid pace, and has found a variety of innovative applications worldwide. In China, only in the past decade, an increased number of scientists from different areas have been getting into this active field, leading to the rapid growth of microfluidics (or lab-on-a-chip) in China. During this period, more than 1900 scientific papers have been published in the international journals indexed in Web of Science, where the term “microfluidic” is used as a searching key word. Since 2002, a series of national and international conferences regarding the topics of micro/nanofluidics (or lab-on-a-chip) have been successfully held in China. These research activities cover subject areas including micro-scale fluidic control/principles, microfabrication technologies/methods, chemical synthesis/analysis, and biological/medical systems et al. It is of note that efforts in recent years have moved from simple technological demonstrations to the exploration of practical applications.

The rapidly proliferating status of this research field in China is mainly attributed to the increasing recognization of microfluidic technologies dedicated to healthcare, and the large amount of funding support from the Chinese government and other resources, including the National Natural Science Foundation of China, the Ministry of Science and Technology of China, the Chinese Academy of Sciences, and industries, etc. This input has greatly facilitated the improvement of research facilities, activities and the cultivation of related academic researchers over many universities and research institutes. Certainly, with the rapid progress in fundamental investigations and the technological development of microfluidics in China, more challenges will be faced and addressed in the near future, such as effective strategies to apply existing microfluidics/LOC methodologies to realistic applications and achieve commercialization.

We are delighted to welcome Dr Qin to the Lab on a Chip Editorial Board as Associate Editor and feel that her expertise will help us to further meet the needs of our authors and readers.

If your research falls under Dr Qin’s area of expertise, why not submit your next article to her?

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Lab on a Chip’s top cited papers from 2009 and 2010

To celebrate last month’s release of the 2011 Impact Factors, we are making some of our best content free to access.

The collection brings together the 20 top cited  Lab on a Chip papers from 2009 and 2010.

View the collection here.

All the articles are free to access for a limited time, following a simple registration for individual users.

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