This May, the University of Toronto hosted the 13th annual Ontario-on-a-Chip (OOAC) symposium in conjunction with the Training Program in Organ-on-a-Chip Engineering & Entrepreneurship (TOeP) annual research day. This two-day event has a tradition of bringing together the local microfluidics community as well as an exceptional programme of keynote and invited speakers. One highlight of this year’s program included the keynote lecture from Howard Stone (Princeton) at the start of the event. Dr. Stone gave a fascinating talk describing his group’s work trying to understand bacterial motility in flow environments as well as the use of diffusiophoresis—generating electric fields through liquid junction potentials—to separate particles in flow, and this generated a lot of discussion over the two days. Two great overviews of emerging topics were also given: Sabeth Verpoorte (U. Groningen) provided an engaging perspective on the journey from cells in microchannels to organ-on-a-chip technology, and Dan Huh (U. Penn.) spoke on his lab’s efforts to develop various complex organs-on-a-chip, including a blinking eye. In the same vein, Ravi Selvaganapathy (McMaster U.) shared his work on developing tools and materials for low-cost bioprinting.
In addition to a great program of keynote and invited speakers, student presentations and posters are at the core of the symposium. This year, Jae Bem You (Sinton Lab, U. Toronto) won the Lab on a Chip sponsored Top Poster Prize for his poster on isolation and immobilization of single sperm cells for motility and genetic analysis. The symposium was organized by Edmond Young (U. Toronto), Scott Tsai (Ryerson) and Milica Radisic (U. Toronto). The organizers are grateful to Lab on a Chip for their support, and look forward to bringing the microfluidics community together again next year!
Darius Rackus (Right) 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.