New thematic collection open for submissions – Miniaturized Sensors and Diagnostics

We are delighted to announce a new thematic collection in Lab on a Chip, focusing on miniaturized sensors and diagnostics, with Professors Yoon-Kyoung Cho and Xingyu Jiang as Thought Leaders.

Our journal is the home for cutting-edge reports about innovations in the “lab on a chip,” which by nature involves developments in microfluidics, sensors, optics, electronics, imaging, materials, mechanical components, and more. In this thematic collection, we focus on the critical importance of the sensor to the lab on a chip, whether the sensor relies on optical, chemical, electrical, or mechanical forces (or many others). This collection also focuses on how lab on a chip/sensor systems are being used to form the next-generation of miniaturized diagnostics, whether they are implantable, wearable, portable, or simply used in the lab.

This on-going collection is collated by Thought Leaders (and Lab on a Chip Editorial Board members) Yoon-Kyoung Cho, Xingyu Jiang and the Lab on a Chip Editorial Office. Are you interested in submitting? We welcome submissions of original research articles and reviews, which (after peer review) will be published and added to the online collection. Papers in this collection will receive extensive promotion throughout the submission period and also will be disseminated widely as a ‘flagship’ collection for the journal. 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

This collection open for submissions now, with a deadline of February 1st 2022

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A warm welcome to our new Lab on a Chip Advisory Board members

We are delighted to welcome Professors Keisuke Goda, Sindy Tang & Yi-Chin Toh to the Lab on a Chip Advisory Board.


Keisuke Goda

Professor, Department of Chemistry

University of Tokyo, Japan

Keisuke Goda is a professor in the Department of Chemistry at the University of Tokyo, an adjunct professor in the Institute of Technological Sciences at Wuhan University, and an adjunct professor in the Department of Bioengineering at UCLA. He obtained his B.A. from UC Berkeley summa cum laude in 2001 and his Ph.D. from MIT in 2007, both in physics. At MIT, he worked on the development of gravitational-wave detectors in the LIGO group which led to the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics. After several years of work on high-speed imaging and microfluidics at Caltech and UCLA, he joined the University of Tokyo as a professor. His research group focuses on the development of serendipity-enabling technologies based on molecular imaging and spectroscopy together with microfluidics and computational analytics to push the frontier of science. He currently leads Serendipity Lab, a global network of scientists who aim to realize Louis Pasteur’s statement “Chance favours the prepared mind”. He has published >300 papers, filed >30 patents, and received numerous awards and honours such as Japan Academy Medal and JSPS Prize. He is a fellow of RSC and SPIE.

Keisuke was the recipient of the Lab on a Chip & Dolomite Pioneers of Miniaturization Lectureship Award 2021, and is a Thought Leader for our on-going AI in Microfluidics thematic collection.

Find out more on the GODA LAB website and follow @ut_godalab on Twitter

Here are a selection of Keisuke’s Lab on a Chip papers below:


Sindy Tang

Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering and by courtesy of Radiology (Precision Health and Integrated Diagnostics)

Stanford University, USA

Sindy KY Tang is the Kenneth and Barbara Oshman Faculty Scholar and Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering and by courtesy of Radiology (Precision Health and Integrated Diagnostics) at Stanford University. She received her Ph.D. from Harvard University in Engineering Sciences under the supervision of Prof. George Whitesides. Her lab at Stanford works on the fundamental understanding of fluid mechanics and mass transport in micro-nano systems, and the application of this knowledge towards problems in biology, rapid diagnostics for health and environmental sustainability. The current areas of focus include the flow physics of confined micro-droplets using experimental and machine learning methods, interfacial mass transport and self-assembly, and ultrahigh throughput opto-microfluidic systems for disease diagnostics, water and energy sustainability, and single-cell wound healing studies. She was a Stanford Biodesign Faculty Fellow in 2018. Dr. Tang’s work has been recognized by multiple awards including the NSF CAREER Award, 3M Nontenured Faculty Award, the ACS Petroleum Fund New Investigator Award, and invited lecture at the Nobel Symposium on Microfluidics in Sweden.

Sindy has been a committed member of the Lab on a Chip 2022 Commissioning Panel

Find out more on the Tang Lab website and follow @TangSindy on Twitter

Here are a selection of Sindy’s Lab on a Chip papers below:


Yi-Chin Toh

Associate Professor, School of Mechanical, Medical and Process Engineering,  

Queensland University of Technology, Australia

Yi-Chin Toh is a Future Fellow and Associate Professor at the Queensland University of Technology. She obtained her B.Eng in Chemical Engineering and Ph.D in Bioengineering from the National University of Singapore in 2001 and 2008 respectively. She did her post-doctoral training at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2008 under Professor Joel Voldman’s guidance. Before joining QUT, she led an independent research group as an Assistant Professor at the Department of Biomedical Engineering, National University of Singapore.

Her research interest is in engineering multi-scale tissue models to mimic complex biological interactions during human development and diseases, as well as translating them into scalable platforms for disease modeling and drug testing applications. Dr Toh is a recipient of the Australia Research Council Future Fellowship, National University of Singapore Research Scholarship, A*STAR Graduate Scholarship and A*STAR International Fellowship.

Yi-Chin has been a committed member of the Lab on a Chip 2022 Commissioning Panel

Find out more on the MicroTE Lab website and follow @MicroTElab on Twitter

Here are a selection of Yi-Chin’s Lab on a Chip papers below:


Please join us in welcoming our new Advisory Board members and we look forward to continuing to work with them on Lab on a Chip!

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Pioneers of Miniaturization Lectureship 2022 – open for nominations

   

Lab on a Chip and Dolomite are proud to sponsor the 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 µTAS 2022 with the recipient receiving a prize of US$3,000.

The Lectureship consists of the following elements:

  • A prize of US$3,000. 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 µTAS 2022 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 2022 lectureship, the following must be sent to the Editorial Office

  • A recommendation letter, including the name, contact details and website URL of the nominee
  • A one-page CV for the nominee, including their date of birth, summary of education and career, a list of up to five of their top independent publications, total numbers of publications
  • A one-page statement of achievement with a lay summary, written by the nominee describing their best accomplishments
  • A supporting letter of recommendation from an independent referee. This could be for example the nominee’s post doc or PhD supervisor. A letter of recommendation with the candidate’s accomplishments and why the lectureship is deserved.

Selection criteria and judging process

  • Nominations must be made via email to loc-rsc@rsc.org supplying the requested documents listed above.
  • 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 2022


 

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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Keeping a remote eye on the microworld

Creating a lab-on-chip device with multiple sensing capabilities has been a long-desired goal in the biotechnology field. A sensor-rich chip would pack the power of a full-scale laboratory as initially envisioned in the lab on a chip concept, yet it remained challenging for decades. Many researchers suggest that real-time monitoring of the culture conditions can provide higher-quality drug screening testing. Although many platforms have been proposed up till now, none of them has yet taken off. A recent work from Andreas Weltin’s laboratory at IMTEK published in the Lab on a Chip, however, sounds very promising.

Embedding the cells in synthetic or natural 3D matrices makes it possible to mimic an in vivo cellular environment, but also frequently takes away control over the culturing conditions. The present microfluidic platform achieves the spheroid growth of tumor cells using Matrigel for several days. However, without continuous monitoring, large amounts of independent cultures would be necessary, as each must be sacrificed to conduct separate assays at separate time points, raising the degree of uncertainty in statistical analysis. The authors addressed this problem by integrating several sensors which can perform continuous readout of different molecules.

Creating hypoxia (low oxygen levels) or hyperoxia (high oxygen levels) conditions in cell culture is often needed to mimic disease conditions for fundamental studies. On the other hand, monitoring the local oxygen levels in a culture is not straightforward. In the present study, the authors fabricated the reference electrodes by electroplating silver/silver chloride. The oxygen sensors were modified using a platinum-coated surface located at multiple spots in close vicinity of the culture chamber, allowing for a comparison of the initial and waste streams (Figure 1).

Cell metabolism underpins cell activity, as well as its viability. Some of the key parameters to monitor cell metabolism include glucose and lactate concentrations in the culture media. While high uptake of glucose is indicative of faster cell respiration and replication, high production of lactate is indicative of an increased anaerobic respiration rate. The authors embedded enzymatic sensors in hydrogel to measure glucose and lactate levels. Regions with lactate oxidase and glucose oxidase enzymes are strategically located in close vicinity to the culture chamber. Such locations were ideal because the cell metabolites released into the media are not yet diffused to a lower concentration at this spot, while it is far enough from the chamber so the by-products of the enzymatic reaction cannot interfere with the cell culture (Figure 1).

As a proof-of-concept, Weltin’s team applied this multifunctional sensing platform to the growth of patient-derived triple-negative breast cancer stem cells, which are highly metastatic and less responsive to treatment. The developed platform unveiled the difference in temporal and concentration-dependent drug response of the cells in spheroids. The authors state that this work underlines the importance of in situ, real-time metabolite monitoring in 3D cell cultures as a future standard in cancer research-related studies.

chip with multiple sensors

Figure 1. The layout of the microfluidic chip. The authors created a compartmentalized matrix-embedded cell culture with medium perfusion and rigorous control of the liquid and gas composition in one platform but also incorporated continuous sensors that are capable to deliver real-time readouts of the oxygen concentrations and cell metabolism by-products.

 

About the Web writers

Burcu Gumuscu is an assistant professor at Eindhoven University of Technology in the Netherlands, and the chair of the Biosensors and Devices Laboratory. 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.

OksanaSavchak

 

Oksana Savchak is a Ph.D. student in Biosensors and Devices Laboratory at the Eindhoven University of Technology in the Netherlands. She focuses on the development of microfluidic screening platforms to investigate cell-material interactions.

 

Original publication

Dornhof, J., Kieninger, J., Muralidharan, H., Maurer, J., Urban, G. A., Weltin, A. (2022): Microfluidic organ-on-chip system for multi-analyte monitoring of metabolites in 3D cell cultures. In: Lab on a Chip, 22 (2). DOI: 10.1039/d1lc00689d

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EMBL Conference: Microfluidics 2022

Lab on a Chip is delighted to be sponsoring the EMBL Microfluidics Conference (11-13 July), bringing together top researchers and emerging research leaders to spark scientific exchange and create community. Topics spanning from fundamental physics & chemistry to device design and nascent biological applications will be presented, which should be of interest to everyone from experts in microfluidic design to users of the next-generation of microfluidic tools, and from academic scholars and trainees to industry colleagues.

Session Topics

  • Probing biology
  • Next-generation device design and emerging applications
  • Disease diagnostics, analytical chemistry and chemical synthesis
  • Single-cell and single-molecule analyses

Featured amongst the speaker list is Associate Editor Yoon-Kyoung Cho, & Commissioning Panel member Yi-Chin Toh!


Find out more about the conference:

Date: 11 – 13 Jul 2022

Location: EMBL Heidelberg and Virtual

Deadline(s):

Abstract submission: 19 Apr 2022

Registration (On-site): 9 May 2022

Registration (Virtual): 4 Jul 2022

 

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Lab on a Chip & MicroTAS 2021: Our prize winners!

The hybrid µTAS 2021 meeting was held from 10-14th October, chaired by Amy Herr & Joel Voldman. We’d like to thank all those who entered the awards this year, and to the judging panels who helped us select the winners. All three prizes received excellent submissions and we’re delighted to announce the winners below.


Lab on a Chip/Dolomite Pioneers of Miniaturization Lectureship

Professor Keisuke Goda (University of Tokyo, Japan), has been awarded the 16th 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.
Like previous years, Professor Goda will receive a monetary award, certificate and plaque, and gave a stunning talk during the µTAS 2021 conference: “a love story of imaging and microfluidics”.


Art in Science Competition
In collaboration with Greg Cooksey from the National Institute of Standards & Technology (NIST), we were pleased to present the Art in Science award:

“Living Impression Sunrise” by Yang Du (Fudan University, China)

An fluorescent image of tumor pre-metastatic perivascular niche. 3D microvessels networks formed by self-assembly of Human Umbilical Vein Endothelial Cells interacted with tumor organoids in this microfluidic chip. The title of this image is inspired by Claude Monet’s Impression Sunrise.


Widmer Poster Prize
The Widmer Poster Prize was awarded this year to Sohyung Lee (UCLA, USA), for her poster and video presentation on “Scalable fabrication of 3D structured microparticles using induced phase separation”. Sohyung put a huge amount of time and effort into her presentation, and the judges were very impressed.


Congratulations to all the winners at this year’s hybrid µTAS conference. We look forward to seeing you at µTAS 2022 (Hangzhou, China)!

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New thematic collection open for submissions – AI in Microfluidics

We are delighted to announce a new thematic collection in Lab on a Chip on AI in Microfluidics, with Professors Keisuke Goda, Hang Lu, Peng Fei & Jochen Guck as Thought Leaders.

 

 

The last decade has seen unprecedented growth in computational power and cloud storage breakthroughs in artificial intelligence (AI). AI-produced outcomes have been proven comparable or even superior to the performance of human experts in drug design, material discovery, and medical diagnosis. In these applications, lab on a chip technology, in particular microfluidics, plays an important role as a platform for both the construction and implementation of AI in a large-scale, high-throughput, automated, multiplexed, and cost-effective manner. The goal of this thematic collection is to highlight new advances in this growing field with an emphasis on the interface between technological advancements and impactful applications.

This on-going collection is collated by Thought Leaders Keisuke Goda, Hang Lu, Peng Fei & Jochen Guck, and the Lab on a Chip Editorial Office. Are you interested in submitting? We welcome submissions of original research articles and reviews, which (after peer review) will be published and added to the online collection. Papers in this collection will receive extensive promotion throughout the submission period and also will be disseminated widely as a ‘flagship’ collection for the journal. 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

This collection open for submissions now, with a deadline of April 1st 2022

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Lab on a Chip and Dolomite 2021 Pioneers of Miniaturization Lectureship Winner

Lab on a Chip and Dolomite are delighted to announce the winner of the 2021 Pioneers of Miniaturization Lectureship, Professor Keisuke Goda.

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.

Keisuke Goda is a professor in the Department of Chemistry at the University of Tokyo, an adjunct professor in the Institute of Technological Sciences at Wuhan University, and an adjunct professor in the Department of Bioengineering at UCLA. He obtained his B.A. from UC Berkeley summa cum laude in 2001 and his Ph.D. from MIT in 2007, both in physics. At MIT, he worked on the development of gravitational-wave detectors in the LIGO group which led to the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics. After several years of work on high-speed imaging and microfluidics at Caltech and UCLA, he joined the University of Tokyo as a professor. His research group focuses on the development of serendipity-enabling technologies based on molecular imaging and spectroscopy together with microfluidics and computational analytics to push the frontier of science. He currently leads Serendipity Lab, a global network of scientists who aim to realize Louis Pasteur’s statement “Chance favours the prepared mind”. He has published >300 papers, filed >30 patents, and received numerous awards and honours such as Japan Academy Medal and JSPS Prize. He is a fellow of RSC and SPIE.

 

Our Pioneers of Miniaturization Lectureship Winner is invited to speak at MicroTAS, and thus Keisuke will be presenting his talk at the MicroTAS 2021 meeting, 10-14th October 2021.

We give our warmest congratulations to Keisuke on his achievement!


Read some of Keisuke Goda’s recent Lab on a Chip papers* below:

Are droplets really suitable for single-cell analysis? A case study on yeast in droplets

Y. Nakagawa, S. Ohnuki, N. Kondo, K. Itto, F. Ghanegolmohammadi, A. Isozaki, Y. Ohya, and K. Goda, “Are droplets really suitable for single-cell analysis? A case study on yeast in droplets”, Lab on a Chip, 19, 3793, (2021)

AI on a chip

A. Isozaki, J. Harmon, Y. Zhou, S. Li, Y. Nakagawa, M. Hayashi, H. Mikami, C. Lei, and K. Goda, “AI on a chip”, Lab on a Chip, 17, 3074 (2020)

Intelligent image-activated cell sorting 2.0

A. Isozaki, H. Mikami, H. Tezuka, H. Matsumura, K. Huang, M. Akamine, K. Hiramatsu, T. Iino, T. Ito, H. Karakawa, Y. Kasai, Y. Li, Y. Nakagawa, S. Ohnuki, T. Ota, Y. Qian, S. Sakuma, T. Sekiya, Y. Shirasaki, N. Suzuki, E. Tayyabi, T. Wakamiya, M. Xu, M. Yamagishi, H. Yan, Q. Yu, S. Yan, D. Yuan, W. Zhang, Y. Zhao, F. Arai, R. E. Campbell, C. Danelon, D. Di Carlo, K. Hiraki, Y. Hoshino, Y. Hosokawa, M. Inaba, A. Nakagawa, Y. Ohya, M. Oikawa, S. Uemura, Y. Ozeki, T. Sugimura, N. Nitta, and K. Goda, “Intelligent image-activated cell sorting 2.0”, Lab on a Chip, 13, 2263 (2020)


*Free to read until 31st October 2021 with an RSC publishing account.

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Emerging Investigators in Microfluidics Conference (EIMC) · 20-21 July 2021

The online conference on Emerging Investigators in Microfluidics Conference (EIMC) will take place from Tuesday 20th to Wednesday 21st of July 2021, starting at 8:00 EDT- Boston Time/ 13:00h UTC/14:00h CEST-Amsterdam-Madrid.


 Emerging Investigators in Microfluidics Conference (EIMC)In the last 30 years, the field of microfluidics has transitioned from infancy to an established discipline with diverse applications being explored by an equally diverse community of scientists and engineers. The field has matured to a state where researchers can buy off-the-shelf microfluidic equipment (chips, pumps, flow meters etc.) and microfluidic componentry is standard within numerous different commercialized analytical and diagnostic devices. However, the continued development of the field depends on the supply of fresh innovative ideas and the nurturing of new leaders within the field.

This meeting aims to showcase work from the next generation of microfluidics researchers (specifically academics/researchers in permanent positions of less than ~6 years, and earlier career stages). The meeting will provide an opportunity to discuss recent developments in the field and develop future research opportunities as part of an overall aim to nurture and promote the careers of emerging researchers within the international microfluidic community.

The conference will run over two days and feature sessions focusing on three “hot” areas of microfluidics: synthetic biology (artificial cells, organ on a chip), portable devices (point-of-care diagnostics, in-the-field analysis), and bioanalysis (single cell analysis, nucleic acid analysis). Oral sessions will feature presentations by invited speakers, in addition to presentations selected from submission of abstracts. There will be a session for researchers to present posters, with additional networking opportunities.

Conference Organisers

Topics to be covered by the conference:
  • Other areas of microfluidics
  • Single cell analysis
  • Diagnostics
  • Analytical chemistry/biochemistry
  • Synthetic biology
  • Artificial cells
  • Organs on a chip

Key Dates

Abstracts submission deadline (oral): 28th June 2021
Abstracts submission deadline (poster): 15th July 2021
Scientific program: 2nd July 2021

Useful Links

Register your attendance for the conference here

Learn more about the conference details here

Look at the conference schedule here

 

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Interview with Editor-in-Chief Aaron Wheeler

Aaron Wheeler, Editor-in-Chief of Lab on a Chip, discusses challenges in microfluidics, exciting advancements and the future of the field.


1. What attracted you to pursue a career in microfluidics and how did you get to where you are now?

I did my Ph.D. in chemistry working with Richard “Dick” Zare at Stanford University. I planned to work on projects related to capillary electrophoresis, but shortly after I started, Dick introduced me to a postdoc, Keisuke Morishima (now a professor at Osaka University), who was working in the then ‘new’ area of microfluidics. A few trips to the cleanroom later, I was hooked, and spent my time as a graduate student developing microfluidic methods to analyze the contents of single cells. After completing my Ph.D., I went to work as a postdoc with Robin Garrell at UCLA, where I learned about the technique known popularly as “digital microfluidics.” Robin introduced me to Chang-Jin “CJ” Kim and Joe Loo, and I spent two years working with those three labs, developing interfaces between microfluidics and mass spectrometry. I then moved to Canada to begin my career as an academic at the University of Toronto, where my research group and I continue to explore how microfluidics can be used to solve problems in chemistry, biology, and medicine. I will note that being an academic is great fun, but the popular perception of this job is wrong. Most readers of this piece (presumably) understand this, but I am always amazed when I talk to people outside of academia who assume that it is the professors who have the ideas, run the experiments, collect the data, interpret the results, and write the papers. Of course, this is not true at all – these things are primarily done by students and postdocs! The opportunity to work with energetic, creative, and hard-working young people is what makes this job so much fun.

 

2. What do you see as the biggest challenges facing researchers who work in your field?

There are of course myriad technical challenges in the Lab on a Chip community, but after observing many cycles of research in this field, I am convinced that technical challenges that arise are almost always ultimately solved – a testament to the incredible ingenuity of Lab on a Chip researchers. One non-technical challenge is the gap between what is claimed and what is demonstrated in scientific papers. We researchers experience great pressure to ‘sell’ our work, which occasionally leads us to make claims that surpass what is demonstrated. I urge my colleagues to try to resist this temptation, as it sets up problems down the road! For example, if I publish results A but claim that they are B, when another group comes along to report actually doing B, inexperienced editors and reviewers may point to the previous paper to say that the work is not novel because B has already been done! One of the great things about working with Lab on a Chip is that we have the best editors and reviewers in the world – they are knowledgeable, sophisticated, and experienced, and can (in the vast majority of cases) sniff out differences between what is shown and what is claimed. But the gulf between what is claimed and what has been demonstrated exists, which makes reviewing more challenging than it need be, and I see it having negative impacts in other settings with reviewers and editors who are not as experienced as ours.

 

3. What is the most exciting research paper that you have read recently? Which of your publications are you most proud of?

I will highlight two interesting papers from recent issues of Lab on a Chip. On the ‘fundamentals’ end of the spectrum, Binsley et al. (Lab Chip, 2020, 20, 4285-4295) described a remarkable system in which an oscillating magnetic field was made to drive the movement of a stretchable PDMS structure to control the flow direction and flow rate in a microfluidic device – a unique, self-contained “pump.” Meanwhile, on the ‘applied’ end of the spectrum, Sun et al. (Lab Chip, 2020, 20, 1621-1627) described an integrated device that amplifies viral nucleic acid sequences in swab eluent with smart-phone detection for point-of-care diagnosis – a clear example of the role our community is playing in responding to the global pandemic.

For my own publications, I am proud of them all/they are all my favourites (like my children)! If you force me to choose one, I would likely point you to our 2019 paper that described the technical challenges (and solutions to those challenges) that we encountered in our work interfacing digital microfluidics with NMR spectroscopy (Lab Chip, 2019, 19, 641-653). It is not our flashiest work, but (like a boxer) it represents some of the hardest work “pound for pound” that my lab has done, coming up with solutions to initiate, control, and monitor chemical reactions in sub-microliter samples in the bore of the superconducting magnet deep inside a high-resolution NMR spectrometer.

 

4. What career would you have chosen if you had not taken this career path?

I am absolutely jealous of my colleagues who are professors in the Lab on a Chip community by day and celebrated jazz musicians (or gourmet chefs, or football champions, etc.) by night. Unfortunately, I am not one of those people, and particularly since having children, family and work occupy nearly all of my time. This is amplified during these days of pandemic – like everyone, I am eager for the vaccines to roll out so that we can move to the next phase of our lives!

 

5. What do you see as the most important scientific achievement of the last decade? Why should young people study chemistry?

This decade has seen a steady stream of incredible advances (in our field and in others), but if I had to choose one, I would point to the single-cell genome/transcriptome sequencing revolution. The idea of single-cell sequencing is not a new one to Lab on a Chip readers, but the revolution went “mainstream” in 2015 when Lab on a Chip Advisory Board member David Weitz published seminal papers describing strategies to label cells with unique barcodes in droplets in microchannels (Cell, 2015, 161, 1187–1201; Cell, 2015, 161, 1202–1214), which captured the attention and imagination of researchers around the world. Companies working with related/complementary technologies got in the game (including most notably, 10x Genomics https://www.10xgenomics.com/) and the rest, as they say, is history – single-cell sequencing is now an almost routine technique in the biology lab. I encourage you to check out Weitz’s 2017 editorial on the subject (Lab Chip, 2017,17, 2539), and more generally, the associated collection of papers of papers in Lab on a Chip. It is always fun to see technologies from the Lab on a Chip community go mainstream, and I hope this is something that the journal can help promote more of in the years to come.

You also asked why young people should study chemistry, which is a great question. Chemistry is known as the ‘central science’ because it underpins nearly every part of the world that we touch, see, smell, and hear, and taste – it is thus a natural fit for anyone who is curious about the world around them. But as a matter of principle, I always encourage young (and young-at-heart) people to think outside the boundaries of disciplines to explore the world while wearing whatever disciplinary “hat” is needed to address the most interesting questions at hand. That’s one reason why I love being a part of the Lab on a Chip community. One can pick up any issue (I am choosing volume 20, issue 24, for these examples) to find papers from biomedical engineers (Lab Chip, 2020, 20, 4561-4571), chemists (Lab Chip, 2020, 20, 4632-4637), chemical engineers (Lab Chip, 2020, 20, 4528-4538), electrical engineers (Lab Chip, 2020, 20, 4582-4591), materials scientists (Lab Chip, 2020, 20, 4572-4581), mechanical engineers (Lab Chip, 2020, 20, 4512-4527), and many others.

 

6. What are you most looking forward to in your new role as Editor in Chief for LOC?

I love this journal. My mission as Editor-in-Chief is to work with our amazing team of Associate Editors to remind the community that Lab on a Chip is a great ‘home’ for the most important work that is being done in the field. We look forward to seeing your next submission!

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