Pioneers of Miniaturization Lectureship 2020: Open for Nominations

 

Lab on a Chip and Dolomite are proud to sponsor the fifteenth 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 online µTAS 2020 event with the recipient receiving a prize of US$2,000. The µTAS 2020 organisers have made the decision that the meeting will be held as an online event, 4-9th October 2020, and as a result the deadline for nominations for the Pioneers of Miniaturization Lectureship is 31st July 2020.

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 online µTAS 2020 event

Eligibility Criteria

To be eligible for the lectureship, candidates must:

  • Have completed their PhD
  • Be actively pursuing an independent research career on miniaturised systems.
  • Be at an early-mid career stage of their independent career (typically this will be within 15 years of completing their PhD, but appropriate consideration will be given to those who have taken a career break or followed a different study path).

Nomination process

To be considered for the 2020 lectureship, the following must be sent to the Editorial Office

  • A letter of recommendation 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 complete nomination form (includes list of the candidate’s relevant publications or recent work, candidate’s scientific CV, and full contact details)
  • Nominations from students and self-nominations are not permissible.

Selection criteria and judging process

  • Nominations must be made via email to loc-rsc@rsc.org using the Dolomite/Lab on a Chip Pioneers of Miniaturization Lectureship nomination form and a letter of recommendation.
  • The decision on the winner of the lectureship will be made by a panel of judges comprising a representative from Dolomite and members from the Lab on a Chip Editorial Board, coordinated by the Executive Editor of Lab on a Chip.
  • The award is for 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.

 

Nomination Deadline: 31 July, 2020 

 

Download Nomination form here 

Dolomite Microfluidics a leading provider of microfluidics-based solutions for a range of applications including drug encapsulation, droplet manufacture and particle generation. They manufacture complete systems as well as individual modular components to balance ease of use with flexibility.

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Lab on a Chip presents prestigious prizes at MicroTAS 2019

The µTAS 2019 Conference was held from 27-31st October in Basel, Switzerland. Maria Southall, Deputy Editor of Lab on a Chip, attended the conference and announced the prestigious Lab on a Chip awards which include the Pioneers of Miniaturization Lectureship (in partnership with Dolomite Microfluidics), the Widmer Young Researcher Poster Prize and the Art in Science competition (in partnership with NIST). All three competitions received many fantastic submissions and we are delighted to present the winners, below:

Lab on a Chip/Dolomite “Pioneers of Miniaturization” Lectureship

Professor Hang Lu (Georgia Tech, USA) was awarded the 14th “Pioneers of Miniaturization” Lectureship, sponsored by Dolomite and Lab on a Chip. The “Pioneers of Miniaturization” Lectureship rewards early to mid-career scientists who have made extraordinary or outstanding contributions to the understanding or development of miniaturised systems. Professor Lu received a certificate, a monetary award and delivered a short lecture at the conference.

Left to right: Mark Gilligan (Dolomite), Hang Lu (winner) and Maria Southall (Lab on a Chip)

Left to right: Mark Gilligan (Dolomite), Hang Lu (winner) and Maria Southall (Lab on a Chip)

 

 

Hang Lu (winner) delivering her lecture

Hang Lu (winner) delivering her lecture

Art in Science Competition

Greg Cooksey from the National Institute of Standards & Technology (NIST) and Lab on a Chip Deputy Editor Maria Southall presented the Art in Science award to Joseph de Rutte from UCLA for his entry “A Cell’s World”. This award aims to highlight the aesthetic value in scientific illustrations while still conveying scientific merit.

Greg Cooksey (NIST), Joseph de Rutte (UCLA, winner) and Maria Southall (Lab on a Chip)

Left to right: Greg Cooksey (NIST), Joseph de Rutte (UCLA, winner) and Maria Southall (Lab on a Chip)

Fluorescent image of uniform droplets formed using structured microparticles. Fluorescently labeled particles are suspended in a water solution and agitated with oil and surfactant. This platform is used to encapsulate single-cells and measure their secretions.

Winning image ‘A Cell’s World’: Fluorescent image of uniform droplets formed using structured microparticles. Fluorescently labeled particles are suspended in a water solution and agitated with oil and surfactant. This platform is used to encapsulate single-cells and measure their secretions.

Widmer Young Researcher Poster Prize

The Widmer Young Researcher Poster Prize was awarded to Roberto Rodriguez-Moncayo from the Centro de Investigación y de Estudios Avanzados del IPN, Mexico, for his poster on “Integrated microfluidic device for universal secretory immunophenotyping studies for adherent and non adherent cells”.

Maria Southall (left) with Roberto Rodriguez-Moncayo (winner)

Maria Southall (left, Lab on a Chip) with Roberto Rodriguez-Moncayo (winner)

Congratulations to all the winners at the conference, we look forward to seeing you at µTAS 2020 in Palm Springs, California, USA! 

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We are delighted to announce that Hang Lu is the 2019 winner of the “Pioneers of Miniaturization” Lectureship!

The 14th “Pioneers of Miniaturization” Lectureship, sponsored by Dolomite and Lab on a Chip , is for early to mid-career scientists who have made extraordinary or outstanding contributions to the understanding or development of miniaturised systems.

The 2019 “Pioneers of Miniaturization” Lectureship will be presented to Professor Lu at the µTAS 2019 Conference in Basel, Switzerland, being held on 27-31 October 2019. Professor Lu will receive a certificate, a monetary award and will give a short lecture during the conference.

Many congratulations to Professor Hang Lu on this achievement from the Lab on a Chip Team!

About the Winner

Professor Hang Lu is the Love Family Professor, School of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology, USA.

Professor Lu earned her PhD in Chemical Engineering from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA in 2003. After a postdoctoral fellowship with Professor Cornelia I. Bargmann, at University of California San Francisco and the Rockefeller University, she was appointed as an Assistant Professor at School of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology.

In recognition of her outstanding achievements, Professor Lu has received numerous awards and international recognition, including being invited to join Board of Directors, Chemical and Biological Microsystems Society, invited to present at the Nobel Symposium on Microfluidics (2017) and the National Academy of Sciences’ Kavli Frontiers of Science Symposia (2014, 2012, 2009), awarded the ACS Analytical Chemistry Young Innovator Award, Chemical and Biological Microsystems Society (2013), Council of Systems Biology in Boston (CSB2) Prize in Systems Biology (2011), a National Science Foundation CAREER award (2010), an Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Research Fellowship (2009), a DARPA Young Faculty Award (2007), a DuPont Young Professor Award (2006), the Saville Lectureship of Princeton University (2013), the H. C. Van Ness Award Lectures of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (2011), and is a fellow of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE) and  a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). She has authored more than 140 peer-reviewed publications and has served on the Editorial Board of Lab on a Chip as Associate Editor since 2017. She is currently the director of the Interdisciplinary Bioengineering Program, and the associate director of the NSF-Simons Foundation supported Southeast Center for Mathematics and Biology, Georgia Institute of Technology.

Professor Lu has pioneered the use of microfluidic systems for imaging and performing genetic studies with small organisms, primarily the nematode C. elegans. In a series of studies published since 2008 she established a set of technologies to streamline imaging, phenotyping, and sorting of C. elegans based on features that are difficult to distinguish and discern by human eyes. The throughput of these technologies were often 1,000 times that of conventional approaches. Professor Lu’s technology has enable faster and more accurate experiments and revolutionized how genetic screens and high-content imaging experiments are done currently in other scientists’ labs. In parallel, her lab has also engineered micro systems for high-content experiments with cells, aggregates, organoids, and embryos to extract high-dimensional information for systems biology studies.

The Lu group performs research at the interface of engineering and biology. They engineer automated microfluidic systems, microscopy tools, and image imformatic technologies to address questions in neuroscience, cell biology, and biotechnology that are difficult to answer using conventional techniques. Applied to the study of fundamental biological questions, these new techniques allow the Lu group to gather large-scale quantitative data about complex systems.

Learn about the Lu group online

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Pioneers of Miniaturization Lectureship 2019: Open for Nominations

Lab on a Chip and Dolomite are proud to sponsor the fourteenth 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 2019 Conference in Basel, Switzerland with the recipient receiving a prize of US$2,000.

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 2019 µTAS Conference

 

Eligibility Criteria

To be eligible for the lectureship, candidates must:

  • Have completed their PhD
  • Be actively pursuing an independent research career on miniaturised systems.
  • Be at an early-mid career stage of their independent career (typically this will be within 15 years of completing their PhD, but appropriate consideration will be given to those who have taken a career break or followed a different study path).

Nomination process

To be considered for the 2019 lectureship, the following must be sent to the Editorial Office

  • A letter of recommendation 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 complete nomination form (includes list of the candidate’s relevant publications or recent work, candidate’s scientific CV, and full contact details)
  • Nominations from students and self-nominations are not permissible.

Selection criteria and judging process

  • Nominations must be made via email to loc-rsc@rsc.org using the Dolomite/Lab on a Chip Pioneers of Miniaturization Lectureship nomination form and a letter of recommendation.
  • The decision on the winner of the lectureship will be made by a panel of judges comprising a representative from Dolomite and members from the Lab on a Chip Editorial Board, coordinated by the Executive Editor of Lab on a Chip.
  • The award is for 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.

Nomination Deadline: 31 May, 2019

Extended deadline : 15th June, 2019 

Download nomination form here

Previous Winners

  • 2018: Professor Sunghoon Kwon, Seoul National University, South Korea
  • 2017: Professor Aaron Wheeler, University of Toronto, Canada
  • 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

Sponsors

Dolomite

Dolomite, part of the Blacktrace group, is the world leader in the design and manufacture of microfluidic products. Our systems are flexible and modular, allowing users to execute a wide range of applications in biology, chemistry, drug discovery, food, cosmetics, and academia. With expertise on hand, we can talk to you about your needs to ensure you find the right system for you and your research.

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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Organ-on-a-Chip systems-translating concept into practice Thematic Collection

We are pleased to announce a new Thematic Collection on Organ-on-a-Chip systems, translating concept into practice!

The first collection of papers on “Organ-body-and disease-on-a-Chip” collection has proved to be popular with the community. The collection has given this emerging field an identity and an effective venue for others to learn of the breadth, depth, and importance of this emerging area. We are delighted to announce that Michael Shuler (Cornell University, USA) will be acting as Thought Leader this follow-up collection.

We believe that a second collection highlighting efforts to translate this concept into practice would be valuable. While proof-of-concept papers for potential devices remains important, there has been significant progress in the last two years towards addressing the practical issues of translating these concepts into workable systems that will be adopted by industry and approved by regulators. While pharmaceuticals remain the primary target, it is clear that these devices will play important roles in the cosmetic, food, and chemical industries.

For regulatory approval and industrial adoption these devices need to be simple (easy to run by a technician), largely self-contained, low cost, reliable, incorporate advanced analytical techniques, and have efficient software to convert measurements into predictions of human response. Some of the initial proof-of-concept devices are too complicated and hence costly to be implemented industrially.  For an academic paper a lab can afford to have a high failure rate of systems as long as sufficient systems function to provide a robust data set.  For an industrial setting a high success rate will be necessary for adoption.  Automation of devices and efficient data collection and interpretation will be necessary for systems to have a broad impact and reduce labour costs.  Although much of the industrial data are proprietary, it should be possible to take historical cases where a drug candidate was approved and then withdrawn from the market due to toxicity and determine if the failure of the drug could have been anticipated from studies with a microphysiological (MPS) system.  Such examples could provide a compelling rationale for inclusion of MPS systems particularly in the later stages of the preclinical drug development process.

A series of papers that address aspects of the issues involved in moving from “proof-of-principle” devices to systems that can be routinely incorporated into testing of drugs, cosmetics, food ingredients, and chemicals would be valuable to the development of the field of microphysiological systems. We seek contributions that will help us fulfill this goal.

Lab on a Chip publishes the best work on significant and original work related to minia-turisation, 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.

Extraordinarily novel organ-on-a-chip systems that demonstrate unique new functions are also welcome.

Interested in submitting to the collection? 

We welcome submissions of original research articles and reviews to this collection and the collection is open for submissions.

Articles will be published as they are accepted and added to this online collection. They will receive extensive promotion throughout the submission period and as a complete collection.

If you are interested in submitting to the series, please get in touch with the Lab on a Chip Editorial Office at loc-rsc@rsc.org.

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Lab on a Chip Thematic Collections

We’ve brought together all of our latest Lab on a Chip Article Collections, Themed Issues, and Editor’s Choice collections to enable you to easily navigate to content most relevant to you. We hope you enjoy reading the papers in these collections!

Ongoing Collections

Thematic Collections

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Xingyu Jiang joins the Lab on a Chip Editorial Board

Xingyu Jiang

Lab on a Chip is pleased to announce that Professor Xingyu Jiang has recently joined our editorial board. Professor Jiang is a Chair Professor at the Southern University of Science and Technology, Shenzhen, China. He obtained his BS at the University of Chicago (1999) and PhD at Harvard University (Chemistry, 2004). In 2005, he joined the National Center for NanoScience and Technology/the University of the Chinese Academy of Sciences. He moved to the Southern University of Science and Technology in 2018.

Professor Jiang’s research interests include microfluidics and nanomedicine and their applications in diagnostics, screening for therapeutics, as well as engineered tissues. He has over 300 publications in peer-reviewed journals. He was awarded the “Hundred Talents Plan” of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, the National Science Foundation of China’s Distinguished Young Scholars Award, the Scopus Young Researcher Gold Award, and the Human Frontier Science Program Young Investigator Award. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry (UK) and American Institute of Medical and Biological Engineering.

Welcome Xingyu!

 

 


Read some of Professor Jiang’s recent Lab on a Chip publications here*:

Hierarchically structured microchip for point-of-care immunoassays with dynamic detection ranges
Lei Mou, Ruihua Dong, Binfeng Hu, Zulan Li, Jiangjiang Zhang and Xingyu Jiang
Paper
Lab Chip, 2019, 19, 2750-2757

Profiling protein–protein interactions of single cancer cells with in situ lysis and co-immunoprecipitation
Ji Young Ryu, Jihye Kim, Min Ju Shon, Jiashu Sun, Xingyu Jiang, Wonhee Lee and Tae-Young Yoon
Communication
Lab Chip, 2019, 19, 1922-1928

Hand-powered centrifugal microfluidic platform inspired by the spinning top for sample-to-answer diagnostics of nucleic acids
Lu Zhang, Fei Tian, Chao Liu, Qiang Feng, Tingxuan Ma, Zishan Zhao, Tiejun Li, Xingyu Jiang and Jiashu Sun
Paper
Lab Chip, 2018, 18, 610-619


*These articles are free to read for 4 weeks.

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Lab on a Chip and Dolomite 2020 Pioneers of Miniaturization Lectureship Winner

Lab on a Chip and Dolomite are delighted to announce the winner of the 2020 Pioneers of Miniaturization Lectureship, Professor Wilbur A. Lam, MD, PhD.

This Lectureship honours and supports the up and coming, next generation of scientists who have significantly contributed to the understanding or development of miniaturised systems.

Professor Lam is a physician-scientist-engineer and clinical pediatric hematologist/oncologist. He is the W. Paul Bowers Research Chair of Pediatrics and Biomedical Engineering at Emory University and Georgia Tech and an attending physician at the Aflac Cancer and Blood Disorders Center of the Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta.

His laboratory focuses on developing microsystems to study and diagnose hematologic diseases including sickle cell disease, thrombotic/bleeding disorders, and leukemia. He is also principal investigator of the Atlanta Center for Microsystems Engineered Point-of-Care Technology (ACME POCT), an integral part of the NIH’s Point-of-Care Technologies Research Network (POCTRN) and RADx COVID-19 initiative.

Professor Lam received his MD from Baylor College of Medicine, going on to earn his PhD in Bioengineering from the University of California, Berkley. He completed his Fellowship in Pediatric Hematology/Oncology and Residency in Pediatrics at the University of California, San Francisco.

Our Pioneers of Miniaturization Lectureship Winner is invited to speak at MicroTAS, and thus Wilbur will be presenting his talk at the online MicroTAS 2020 meeting, 4-9th October 2020.

We our warmest congratulations to Wilbur on his achievement.


Read some of Wilbur Lam’s recent Lab on a Chip papers below:

Interdigitated microelectronic bandage augments hemostasis and clot formation at low applied voltage in vitro and in vivo
Elaissa T. Hardy, Yannan J. Wang, Sanathan Iyer, Robert G. Mannino, Yumiko Sakurai, Thomas H. Barker, Taiyun Chi, Yeojoon Youn, Hua Wang, Ashley C. Brown and Wilbur A. Lam
Lab Chip, 2018, 18, 2985-2993

Probing blood cell mechanics of hematologic processes at the single micron level
Jordan C. Ciciliano, Reza Abbaspour, Julia Woodall, Caroline Wu, Muhannad S. Bakir and Wilbur A. Lam
Lab Chip, 2017, 17, 3804-3816

3D microvascular model recapitulates the diffuse large B-cell lymphoma tumor microenvironment in vitro
Robert G. Mannino, Adriana N. Santiago-Miranda, Pallab Pradhan, Yongzhi Qiu, Joscelyn C. Mejias, Sattva S. Neelapu, Krishnendu Roy and Wilbur A. Lam
Lab Chip, 2017, 17, 407-414


*Free to read until 26th October 2020 with an RSC publishing account.

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Modelling arthritis

The function of tissues degrade during the course of human life, whether the cause is genetics, accidents, or wear and tear. Frequently experienced medical conditions associated with aging include blocked arteries, cataracts, and arthritis. The former two can be thoroughly treated via surgeries, but arthritis remains a bane to millions of sufferers because its treatment is rather palliative than intensive.

Let’s take the example of rheumatoid arthritis. It occurs when macrophage cells (a main component of the immune system) attack to the membrane (synovium) that surrounds the joints as a result of an auto-immune response. The damaged synovium thickens significantly, its anatomy undergoes striking changes such as metabolic activation of synoviocytes and continuous mass of cells invading into the cartilage and bone. If unchecked this inflammation can destroy the cartilage and the bone within the joint. What does this mean for the patients? A relatively short answer is painful knees, reduced physical activities, continuous uptake of anti-inflammatory medication, and painkillers. A cure does not yet loom on the horizon, but new tools to model rheumatoid arthritis could definitely make it easier to predict the onset of the disorder.

Peter Ertl and his colleagues at Vienna University of Technology, Austria, decided to tackle this problem in the article they recently published in Lab on a Chip. They researched the mechanisms governing the destructive inflammatory reaction in rheumatoid arthritis by designing a first-ever 3D synovium-on-chip tool, which can monitor the onset and progression of the tissue responses. The researchers were focused on monitoring the behavior of the inflated fibroblast-like synoviocytes, which makes the synovium membrane thicker. They used tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α) to trigger synoviocytes to demonstrate inflammation response. The chips contained circular microchambers, where surface coatings are applied and Matrigel is filled for obtaining 3D organoids. Different hydrogel types were also examined to observe cell response. For the monitoring, the researchers used collimated laser beams, and the scattered light was collected using embedded organic photodiodes. This powerful optical measurement setup allowed for adjusting the detection range (50 nm to 10 µm) and sensitivity to any tissue construct (Figure 1). The researchers implemented a PDMS waveguide structure to the optical measurement setup to turn the light scattering measurements into reproducible ones. The measurement setup also enabled continuous monitoring of hydrogel polymerization, which was also controlled in this work since the polymerization time influences hydrogel stiffness, which in turn affects the fate of cell behavior. A typical measurement took four days, where the researchers obtained cultures accurately mimicking in-vivo rheumatoid arthritis conditions. A diseased phenotype becomes distinguishable within 2-3 days in the organ-on-chip platform, as this takes at least 14 days in conventional cell culture platforms. The developed tool can very well serve as a new modeling system for inflammatory arthritis and joint-related disease models.

 

Figure 1. Overview of the synovium-on-a-chip system with integrated time-resolved light scatter biosensing.

 

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

Monitoring tissue-level remodelling during inflammatory arthritis using a three-dimensional synovium-on-a-chip with non-invasive light scattering biosensing

Mario Rothbauer, Gregor Höll, Christoph Eilenberger, Sebastian R. A. Kratz, Bilal Farooq, Patrick Schuller, Isabel Olmos Calvo, Ruth A. Byrne, Brigitte Meyer, Birgit Niederreiter, Seta Küpcü, Florian Sevelda, Johannes Holinka, Oliver Hayden, Sandro F. Tedde, Hans P. Kiener and Peter Ertl, Lab Chip, 2020, Lab on a Chip Hot Articles

DOI: 10.1039/c9lc01097a


About the Webwriter

Burcu Gumuscu is an assistant professor in BioInterface Science Group at Eindhoven University of Technology in the Netherlands. She strives for the development, fabrication, and application of smart biomaterials to realize high-precision processing in high-throughput microfluidic settings. She specifically focuses on the design and development of lab-on-a-chip devices containing hydrogels for diversified life sciences applications. She is also interested in combining data-mining and machine learning techniques with hypothesis-driven experimental research for future research.

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Emerging Investigator Series – Katherine Elvira

Lab on a Chip is delighted to introduce our most recent Emerging Investigator, Katherine Elvira!

Katherine received her undergraduate Master’s degree in Chemistry from Imperial College London in 2007. She started working in the field of microfluidics during her PhD (2012, Imperial College London), by building digital microfluidic platforms to perform automated chemical reactions. Katherine then moved to ETH Zürich (Switzerland) working firstly as a Postdoctoral Researcher and then as a Senior Scientist in the Institute for Chemical and Bioengineering. Since 2017, Katherine is the Canada Research Chair in New Materials and Techniques for Health Applications and an Assistant Professor in the Department of Chemistry at the University of Victoria, Canada. Katherine’s group currently develops microfluidic technologies to build bespoke artificial cells for the quantification of pharmacokinetic parameters in vitro. Katherine has recently presented this work at the Gordon Research Conference on Drug Metabolism (2019), is Co-Chair for the Gordon Research Conference on the Physics and Chemistry of Microfluidics (2023) and is a Scientific Mentor for the Creative Destruction Lab.

Read Dr Elvira’s Emerging Investigator paper* “A bespoke microfluidic pharmacokinetic compartment model for drug absorption using artificial cell membranes” and find out more about her and her research in the interview below.

Katherine Elvira

Image credit: UVic Photo Services

Your recent Emerging Investigator Series paper focuses on a new type of pharmacokinetic compartment model for the prediction of drug absorption. How has your research evolved from your first article to this most recent article?

Funnily enough, my first ever article was a very early precursor to this work. We built a microfluidic platform for the formation of droplet interface bilayers (DIBs) in high-throughput. I didn’t work with DIBs again until I started as a Canada Research Chair at the University of Victoria, but they are the basis for the new type of pharmacokinetic compartment model that we show in the Emerging Investigator article. We can now make them mimic human cell membranes and hence they form the building blocks for the compartments in the pharmacokinetic compartment model. In between, my research involved making microfluidic devices for application in many different fields, such as drug discovery, organic chemistry and food science. I also spent some time investigating why microfluidic droplets rarely behave perfectly, and how we can mitigate this. I like that paper because we included a poster in the ESI which my group still uses in the lab to determine what is going wrong with their chips.

What aspect of your work are you most excited about at the moment?

I am really excited about some cool new artificial cell and tissue models that we are building, and how they can be used to model disease and drug behaviour in humans. My group is full of outstanding researchers, which makes it really easy to be excited about the work they are doing!

In your opinion, what is the biggest advantage of using your microfluidic platform over other methods?

It’s two things, really. Firstly, the fact that we are able to build networks of different compartments and artificial cell membranes on a chip. This allows us to build an in vitro model of the pathway that a drug would take in a human, from the intestine to the blood. And secondly, the fact that we can make these artificial cell membranes using phospholipids that are found in human cells. This makes our in vitro model quite biomimetic. In fact, we are able to predict molecular transport into cells three times better than the state-of-the-art in vitro commercial technique.

What do you find most challenging about your research?

Let’s face it, PDMS is awesome in some ways, but awful in others. I would love to find another material that has the advantages of PDMS, such as being cheap, transparent, and good for prototyping, but that has really stable and modifiable surface chemistry, and that we can mass produce for commercial applications.

In which upcoming conferences or events may our readers meet you?

I am part of the Technical Program Committee for MicroTAS 2020, so I will be at the online conference in October. And next year I am co-Vice Chair of the Gordon Research Conference on the Physics and Chemistry of Microfluidics, which will hopefully be taking place in Italy.

How do you spend your spare time?

I am really lucky to live in beautiful British Columbia on the West coast of Canada. During the winter months I get to go backcountry snowboarding in some of the most outstanding mountains in the world. In the summer, I switch my snowboard for a stand-up paddle board along the beaches in Victoria. I also love travelling, which I do a lot, both for work and for fun. I need my yoga classes to keep me relaxed, and have a slight obsession with cooking all the European foods that I miss from home.

Which profession would you choose if you were not a scientist?

I wanted to be an astronaut when I was younger. It still sounds cool but I am also happy staying on earth and being an academic, it’s a pretty great life.

Can you share one piece of career-related advice or wisdom with other early career scientists?

I don’t always find it easy being a woman in science, so I would encourage early career female scientists to persevere, we need diversity in academia. I would tell their male colleagues to be good allies.

 

*Dr Elvira’s paper is free to access with an RSC account for the next month.

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Alcohol testing on skin

Our skin perspires every day by about 2.5 million sweat glands under the dermis layer. Not all the sweat glands have the same function. While some glands release sweat through the opening of hair follicles−aka apocrine glands−, some others open directly onto the skin surface−aka eccrine glands−. The most prevalent type in the body is the eccrine glands, which produce interesting signaling subtleties for monitoring health. Actually, the sweat produced at different times contains the time-stamps of noteworthy information such as electrolytes, metabolites, micronutrients, hormones exogenous agents, each of which can change in concentration in the content of sweat with diet, stress level, hydration status, and physiologic or metabolic state. Monitoring these cues using appropriate sensors makes possible to track an individual’s health in real-time. Sweat analysis potentially complements or even obviates the need for approaches relying on puncturing the skin with needles.

We encounter two major types of skin-interfaced measurement units in the literature: (1) equipped with electronics to power measurement units or run electrochemical measurements (2) colorimetric detection relying on no electronic sensors. Each type has different application areas. The colorimetric detection is particularly interesting as it relies on uniquely designed rapid chemical reactions between the sweat and the unit, in many cases with improved repeatability and accuracy. As a recent example of this kind, a research team from Northwestern University and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have introduced a skin sensor to detect signaling subtleties emanating from the skin. The promise of this work lies in the ability to control the reaction kinetics and the mixing of different reagents and samples in a user-operated device. This achievement was made possible by introducing a multi-layered microfluidic device platform containing stop valves and a super absorbent polymer to initiate colorimetric reactions for microliter volumes of ammonia and ethanol in microliter volumes of sweat.

The patch absorbs sweat via super absorbent polymer layers located subjacent to individual wells (Figure 1). The super absorbent polymer layer expands upon soaking sweat, activating a microfluidic mechanical pump that releases pre-loaded reaction buffers into the wells. The colorimetric reaction subsequently takes place (Figure 1). This pad was equipped for running ammonia and ethanol (alcohol) assays. But why two metabolites only? The patch is dedicated to monitoring alcohol testing in daily living. As mentioned in the paper, ammonia levels could serve as an index for hepatic encephalopathy diagnosis in subjects who are experiencing alcohol abuse. Hepatic encephalopathy refers to liver failure mostly caused by alcohol uptake. The researchers also tested the patch on volunteers resting in a warm bath after consuming alcoholic beverages to highlight the operational advantages of such patches. The authors note that this work has direct implications for sweat biomarker research, health monitoring in daily life, and simultaneous drug/alcohol testing.

Figure 1. The skin-interfaced measurement patch, its measuring units, and working mechanism.

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

Soft, skin-interfaced microfluidic systems with integrated enzymatic assays for measuring the concentration of ammonia and ethanol in sweat

Sung Bong Kim, Jahyun Koo, Jangryeol Yoon, Aurélie Hourlier-Fargette, Boram Lee,f Shulin Chen, Seongbin Jo, Jungil Choi, Yong Suk Oh, Geumbee Lee, Sang Min Won, Alexander J. Aranyosi, Stephen P. Lee, Jeffrey B. Model, Paul V. Braun, Roozbeh Ghaffari, Chulwhan Park and John A. Rogers, Lab Chip, 2020, Lab on a Chip Hot Articles

DOI: 10.1039/c9lc01045a

 

About the Webwriter

Burcu Gumuscu is a researcher in Mesoscale Chemical Systems Group at the University of Twente in the Netherlands. Her research interests include the 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.

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Outstanding Reviewers for Lab on a Chip in 2019

We would like to highlight the Outstanding Reviewers for Lab on a Chip in 2019, as selected by the editorial team, for their significant contribution to the journal. The reviewers have been chosen based on the number, timeliness and quality of the reports completed over the last 12 months.

We would like to say a big thank you to those individuals listed here as well as to all of the reviewers that have supported the journal. Each Outstanding Reviewer will receive a certificate to give recognition for their significant contribution.

Dr Daniel Citterio, Keio University, ORCID: 0000-0001-7420-045X

Dr David Collins, University of Melbourne, ORCID: 0000-0001-5382-9718

Dr David Eddington, University of Illinois at Chicago, ORCID: 0000-0002-6346-5193

Dr Mathieu Hautefeuille, National Autonomous University of Mexico, ORCID: 0000-0003-3918-0320

Dr Wolfgang Keil, Institute Curie

Dr Séverine  Le Gac, University of Twente, ORCID: 0000-0002-4546-6184

Dr Rebecca  Pompano, University of Virginia, ORCID: 0000-0002-8644-9313

Dr Julien Reboud, University of Glasgow, ORCID: 0000-0002-6879-8405

Dr Yi-Chin Toh, Queensland University of Technology, ORCID: 0000-0002-4105-4852

Dr Victor Ugaz, Texas A&M University, ORCID: 0000-0001-9361-9950

Dr Jeremiah Zartman, University of Notre Dame, ORCID: 0000-0001-7195-7203

We would also like to thank the Lab on a Chip board and the Lab on a Chip community for their continued support of the journal, as authors, reviewers and readers.

If you would like to become a reviewer for our journal, just email us with an application form and an up-to-date CV or résumé. You can find more details in our author and reviewer resource centre.

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Emerging Investigator Series – Fabrice Gielen

Lab on a Chip is delighted to introduce our most recent Emerging Investigator, Fabrice Gielen! 

Dr. Fabrice Gielen is an Independent Research Fellow at the Living Systems Institute, University of Exeter. He obtained his PhD from Imperial College London during which he studied cellular membrane dynamics using a combination of single cell microfluidic trapping techniques and single molecule spectroscopy with Profs. Joshua Edel and Andrew deMello. He subsequently moved to Cambridge as a Post-Doctoral Research Associate with Prof. Florian Hollfelder to contribute to the field of ultra-high-throughput biocatalyst evolution. He is a Founder and Scientific Director of Drop-Tech Ltd, which commercializes droplet-on-demand platforms. His research interests include developing novel tools and methods to study and harness single cells with applications in bacteria-phage interactions, protein evolution and regenerative medicine.

Read Dr Gielen’s Emerging Investigator paper* “Deep learning guided image-based droplet sorting for on-demand selection and analysis of single cells and 3D cell cultures” and find out more about him and his research in the interview below. 

Picture of Emerging Investigator, Fabrice Gielen

 

Your recent Emerging Investigator Series paper focuses on sorting of single droplets for selection and analysis of single cells and 3D cell cultures. How has your research evolved from your first article to this most recent article?

 My first article (long ago already!) presented a microfluidic device for trapping and focussing microparticles within microchannels. The common theme with my present work is how precise control at the microscale enables us to perform novel types of biological experiments across populations. We can now truly benefit from the progress made in engineering, computing and optical setups to study biology, not just faster but in fundamentally different ways than was possible when I started my career.

 

What aspect of your work are you most excited about at the moment?

Studying single cells holds the promise to understand biology down to its fundamental unit. I joined the Living Systems Institute at the University of Exeter to exploit the advantages of droplet microfluidics in terms of single cell control and interrogation for the study of complex biological systems. Since then, I have developed multiple interests ranging from the behaviour of unicellular organisms, cellular differentiation or the discovery of novel antimicrobials. I believe there is also a large scope for other, yet unforeseen applications.

 

In your opinion, what is the biggest advantage to using your platform for classifying single droplet images compared to other methods?

 Images hold a lot of information and machines can uncover patterns where humans cannot. Recent technological progress allows us to combine image acquisition and analysis in real-time. Problems such as image classification used in medical diagnostics or selection to isolate rare cell types benefit enormously from machine learning tools that can identify objects only using human-labelled training data. Our paper shows one way of doing this is by using convolutional neural networks which can be trained to recognize several types of micro-objects simultaneously.

 

What do you find most challenging about your research?

The ability to combine in a single experiment microfluidic workflows, biological entities, and biochemical reactions has the flipside that successful and conclusive experiments happen only when all these variables coincide (which is sometimes rare!). On the bright side, microfluidics has gone a long way in terms of reproducibility and long-term functionality and the onus is now more on the biology.

 

At which upcoming conferences or events may our readers meet you?

I am planning to attend the MicroTAS 2020 (Palm Springs) and EMBL microfluidics (Heidelberg).  

 

How do you spend your spare time?

I like to take the family out to visit Devon and the Jurassic Coast, which I highly recommend to anyone visiting the region.

 

Which profession would you choose if you were not a scientist?

I would go for musician/composer, maybe pianist.

 

*Dr Gielen’s paper is free to access with an RSC account for the next month.

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Meet our new Advisory Board members!

Lab on a Chip is excited to introduce the newest additions to our Advisory Board!

Esther Amstad studied material science at ETH Zurich, Switzerland, where she also carried out her PhD thesis under the supervision of Prof. Marcus Textor (2007-2011). Her thesis was devoted to the steric stabilization of iron oxide nanoparticles. As a Postdoctoral fellow, she joined the experimental soft condensed matter group of David A. Weitz at Harvard University, USA (2011-2014). She developed new microfluidic devices to study early stages of the crystallization of nanoparticles, and to produce drops of well-defined sizes at high throughputs. Since June 2014, she is Tenure Track Assistant Professor at the institute of Materials at Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), Switzerland, where she heads the Soft Materials Laboratory (SMAL). Inspired by nature, her research team develops drop-based processing routes that offer control over the local composition and structure of materials to fabricate adaptable, self-healing materials.

Esther Amstad

Stephanie Descroix is team leader at Institut Curie, France. Her group is interested in the development of microfluidics for biomedical applications and more recently in organ on chip development for biophysics and biology. She has an initial background in biochemistry and obtained her PhD in Analytical Chemistry in 2002. She was hired a CNRS researcher at ESPCI (Paris) in 2004 to develop microfluidic device for bioanalytical application. In 2011, she joined the lab PhysicoChemistry Curie at Institut Curie to benefit from a unique interdisciplinary and clinical environment. Since 2013, she is head of the CNRS French Micro and Nanofluidic Network (GDR MNF) and she is co-founder of INOREVIA company.

Stephanie Descroix

Mei He is an Assistant Professor at the University of Kansas, USA. She received her PhD degree from the University of Alberta with Professor Jed Harrison, and postdoctoral training from the University of California, Berkeley with Professor Amy Herr. Dr. He Received NIH Maximizing Investigator’s Research Award for Early Stage Investigators (MIRA ESI) and LOC Emerging Investigator in 2019. She also received an Lab on Chip Outstanding Reviewer award for the year of 2018. One of her publications received the 2018 SLAS Technology Readers Choice Award. Her research interests include biomedical microfluidic devices and sensing approaches, 3D biomaterials, and nanodelivery, employed in programming and monitoring biomimetic immunity associated with extracellular vesicles.

Mei He

Michelle Khine is Professor of Biomedical Engineering at University of California, Irvine, USA. Prior to UC Irvine, Khine was an Assistant and Founding professor at UC Merced from 2006-09. At UC Merced, Shrink Nanotechnologies Inc., the first start-up company from youngest UC campus, was spun out of the research developed in Khine’s lab. Her current research projects include: single cell electroporation, shrinky-dink microfluidics, microsystems for stem cell differentiation, canary-on-a-chip and quantitative single-cell analysis of receptor dynamics and chemotactic response on a chip.

Michelle Khine

Wilbur Lam MD, PhD is a physician-scientist-engineer trained in clinical pediatric hematology/oncology as well as bioengineering. He is the W. Paul Bowers Research Chair, Associate Professor of Pediatrics and Biomedical Engineering at Emory University School of Medicine and the Georgia Institute of Technology, and an attending physician at the Aflac Cancer and Blood Disorders Center of Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. His laboratory focuses on developing microfluidic and microfabricated systems to study, diagnose, and even treat hematologic diseases including sickle cell disease, thrombotic/bleeding disorders, and leukemia.

Wilbur Lam

Severine Le Gac is Professor at the University of Twente (The Netherlands), where she leads a group called Applied Microfluidics for BioEngineering Research (AMBER). Séverine Le Gac holds her Engineer degree from the ESPCI (Ecole Supérieure de Physique et de Chimie Industrielles) and her MSc degree from the National Museum of Natural History (both Paris, France). In 2004, she obtained her PhD degree cum laude from the University of Lille (France). After a short visit at the University of Tokushima (Japan), she joined the University of Twente in 2005 as a post-doctoral researcher, before being appointed as a tenure-tracker in the same university. Professor Le Gac is member of the director board of the Chemical Biological Microsystem Society (CBMS). Her research focuses on the use of miniaturized devices for biological and medical applications, and in particular for cancer research and the field of assisted reproductive technologies.

Séverine Le Gac

Xiujun (James) Li is Associate Professor at the University of Texas at El Paso, USA. Prior to University of Texas at El Paso, Professor Li was a NSERC Postdoctoral Fellow at UC Berkeley working with Richard A. Mathies and a NSERC Postdoctoral Fellow at the Harvard University & Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering, working with Professor Whitesides. Professor Li has received various awards including the 2018 Outstanding Faculty Dissertation Research Mentoring Award, UTEP, the 2017-2018 Outstanding Efforts Award, UTEP and a 2017 Innovation Center Proof-of-Concept Grant, Medical Center of the Americas Foundation (MCA). Professor Li’s research focusses on bioanalysis, biomedical & environmental applications, and catalysis using microfluidic lab-on-a-chip platforms and nanotechnology.

Xiujun Li

Ian Papautsky is Richard and Loan Hill Professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago, USA and Co-Director of the NSF Center for Advanced Design & Manufacturing of Integrated Microfluidics. The Papautsky lab is focused on innovating blood analysis technologies, using microfluidics and sensing, for precision and point-of-care medicine. The Papautsky lab also pioneered the inertial microfluidics technology for label-free isolation and analysis of rare cells. The Papautsky lab has recently focused on capture and molecular profile analysis of circulating tumor cells (CTCs) and circulating tumor microemboli (CTM), whose molecular profile can provide a “cancer census” that is more holistic representation of disease state and active pathophysiology.

Ian Papautsky

Weian Zhao is an Associate Professor at the Sue and Bill Gross Stem Cell Research Center, Chao Family Comprehensive Cancer Center, Department of Biomedical Engineering, and Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences at University of California, Irvine. Dr. Zhao is also the co-founder of Velox Biosystems Inc, and Amberstone Biosciences Inc, start-up companies that aim to develop technologies for rapid diagnosis and immunotherapeutic discovery, respectively. Dr. Zhao’s research aims to 1) elucidate and eventually control the fate of transplanted stem cells and immune cells to treat cancer and autoimmune diseases, and 2) develop novel miniaturized devices for early diagnosis and monitoring for conditions including sepsis, antibiotic resistance and cancer. Dr. Zhao has received several awards including the MIT’s Technology Review TR35 Award: the world’s top 35 innovators under the age of 35 and NIH Director’s New Innovator Award. Dr. Zhao completed his BSc and MSc degrees in Chemistry at Shandong University and then obtained his PhD in Chemistry at McMaster University in 2008. During 2008-2011, Dr. Zhao was a Human Frontier Science Program (HFSP) Postdoctoral Fellow at Harvard Medical School, Brigham and Women’s Hospital and MIT.

Weian Zhao

Recent Publications in Lab on a Chip by our newest Advisory Board members

Simplified Drop-seq workflow with minimized bead loss using a bead capture and processing microfluidic chip

Biočanin, M, Bues, J.Dainese, R. Amstad, E., Deplancke, B.

Lab Chip, 2019, 19, 1610-1620

 

Scalable production of double emulsion drops with thin shells

Vian, A., Reuse, B., Amstad, E.

Lab Chip, 2018, 18, 1936-1942

 

Controlling the distance of highly confined droplets in a capillary by interfacial tension for merging on-demand

Ferraro, D, Serra, M., Filippi, D., Zago, L., Guglielmin, E., Pierno, M., Descroix, S., Viovy, J.-L., Mistura, G.

Lab Chip, 2019, 19, 136-146

 

3D-printing enabled micro-assembly of a microfluidic electroporation system for 3D tissue engineering

Zhu, Q., Hamilton, M., Vasquez, B., He, M.

Lab Chip, 2019, 19, 2362-2372

 

Microfluidic on-demand engineering of exosomes towards cancer immunotherapy

Zheng Zhao, Jodi McGill, Pamela Gamero-Kubotac and Mei He.

Lab Chip, 2019, 19, 1877-1886

 

Wearable sensors: Modalities, challenges, and prospects

Heikenfeld, J., Jajack, A., Rogers, J., Gutruf, P., Tian, L., Pan, T., Li, R., Khine, M., Kim, J., Wang, J., Kim, J.

Lab Chip, 2018, 18, 217-248

 

Interdigitated microelectronic bandage augments hemostasis and clot formation at low applied voltage: In vitro and in vivo

Hardy, E.T., Wang, Y.J., Iyer, S., Mannino, R.G., Sakurai, Y., Barker, T.H., Chi, T., Youn, Y., Wang, H., Brown, A.C., Lam, W.A.

Lab Chip, 2018, 18, 2985-2993

 

Immuno-capture of extracellular vesicles for individual multi-modal characterization using AFM, SEM and Raman spectroscopy

Beekman, P., Enciso-Martinez, A., Rho, H.S., Pujari, S.P., Lenferink, A., Zuilhof, H., Terstappen, L.W.M.M., Otto, C., Le Gac, S.

Lab Chip, 2019, 19, 2526-2536

 

Size-dependent enrichment of leukocytes from undiluted whole blood using shear-induced diffusion

Zhou, J., Papautsky, I.

Lab Chip, 2019, 19, 3416-3426

 

Single stream inertial focusing in low aspect-ratio triangular microchannels

Mukherjee, P., Wang, X., Zhou, J., Papautsky, I.

Lab Chip, 2019, 19, 147-157

 

An ultrasensitive test for profiling circulating tumor DNA using integrated comprehensive droplet digital detection

Chen-Yin Ou, Tam Vu, Jonathan T. Grunwald, Michael Toledano, Jan Zimak, Melody Toosky, Byron Shen, Jason A. Zell, Enrico Gratton, Timothy J. Abram and Weian Zhao

Lab Chip, 2019, 19, 993-1005

 

Functional TCR T cell screening using single-cell droplet microfluidics

Aude I. Segaliny, Guideng Li, Lingshun Kong, Ci Ren, Xiaoming Chen, Jessica K. Wang, David Baltimore, Guikai Wu and Weian Zhao

Lab Chip, 2018, 18, 3733-3749

We hope you enjoy reading this collection, which we have made free to access until the 15th March 2020 with an RSC Publishing Account.

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Processing one-trillionth the size of a liter

A picoliter of a droplet is approximately 1 µm. It is so small that a raindrop can contain thousands of picoliters. Despite the small quantity, precise control of picoliter size liquids spawns a growing number of applications including in point-of-care tools and drug synthesis. Such a task is not easy to achieve for conventional liquid-manipulation methods due to precision, evaporation and the ease of post-processing problems.

When it comes to small volume liquid handling, no other platform would be better than microfluidic devices. As such, a recent Lab Chip paper from Prof. Bai Yang’s Lab at Jilin University in China demonstrates the fabrication of a microfluidic platform to handle sub-picoliter size droplets. The authors use glass as the core material of the microchips because glass is mechanically strong and it enables higher precision in droplet manipulation (Figure 1). In the paper, pressure-controlled syringes are used to dispense down to 0,5 picoliters in a series of trapezoidal-shaped microchambers, each composed of 10 subunits. The boundaries of the subunits act as pressure barriers, preventing the liquid from flowing through the entire microchamber and allowing for fine-tuning of the volume to be handled. The authors also showed that the working range, stability, and precision of the device could be increased by adjusting the boundary properties and microchamber dimensions (e.g., height). However, the magnitude of the minimum volume will still be bound to two main factors. (1) The resolution of the fabrication technology determines the microchannel and boundary dimensions. (2) Laplace pressure difference between the channel and the boundaries determines the accuracy of the device. The smaller channels yield decreased accuracy due to higher pressure differences between the boundary-microchannel interfaces. Relying on these design criteria, the authors fabricated up to three interconnected picoliter-volume injection units. Combined units work together to synthesize gold nanoparticles and nanorods with a wide size range. The authors believe that the platform can be further used in several different applications including lab-on-chip platforms, analytical chemistry for medicine approaches, quantitative cell cultures, and even drug injection into single cells.

Figure 1. The microfluidic device for sub-picoliter volume liquid handling

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

Pressure-controlled microfluidic sub-picoliter ultramicro-volume syringes based on integrated micro-nanostructure arrays

Nianzuo Yu, Yongshun Liu, Shuli Wang, Xiaoduo Tang, Peng Ge, Jingjie Nan, Junhu Zhang, and Bai Yang, Lab Chip, 2019, Lab on a Chip Hot Articles

DOI: 10.1039/C9LC00730J

 

About the Webwriter

Burcu Gumuscu is a researcher in Mesoscale Chemical Systems Group at the University of Twente in the Netherlands. Her research interests include the 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.

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