Lab on a Chip
This is such a fascinating and significant area of our work
that I am going to devote both this and the next blog to some recent articles
that discuss Lab on a Chip. [There is a journal (Lab Chip) devoted to this. In
the last 6 months at PubMed, there were over 400 articles abstracted by PubMed
from the key words Lab on a Chip!] Because of intensive developments in recent
years, the microfluidic system has become a powerful tool for biological
analysis. Entire analytic protocols including sample pretreatment,
sample/reagent manipulation, separation, reaction and detection can be
integrated into a single chip platform. A lot of demonstrations on the
diagnostic applications related to genes, proteins and cells have been reported
because of their advantages associated with miniaturization, automation,
sensitivity and specificity
Here are 4 short synopses from some of the articles I found
most intriguing to us.
in-the-field-deployable diagnostic modalities are urgently needed in first-responder
and point-of-care applications. Researchers have utilized innovative approaches
using the unique properties of nano (1*10 -9) materials in order to achieve
detection of infectious agents, even in complex media like blood. With gold
nanoparticles and iron oxide nanoparticles and changes in magnetic properties,
detection of pathogens, toxins, antigens and nucleic acids has been achieved
with impressive nano-detection thresholds. Additionally, as bacteria become
resistant to antibiotics, nanotechnology has achieved the rapid determination
of bacterial drug susceptibility and resistance using these novel methods.
detection and profiling of circulating tumor cells (CTCs). The rarity of CTCs,
approximated at 1 CTC for every billion peripheral blood cells poses
significant challenges to sensitive and reliable detection. The authors
recently developed a new micro-nuclear magnetic resonance (μNMR) platform for
biosensing. This μNMR platform offers high detection sensitivity and
point-of-care operation, overcoming technical barriers in CTC research.
3. By making
use of the microarray format, the lab-on-chip system also addresses new trends
in biomedicine. Research topics such as personalized medicine or companion
diagnostics show that multiparameter analyses are an added value for
diagnostics and therapy, as well as therapy control. Since reagents, microfluidic
actuators and various sensors are integrated within the cartridge, these goals
are addressed with a low-cost and self-contained cartridge. In combination with
a fully automated instrumentation (read-out and processing unit), a diagnostic
assay can be performed in about 15 min. So far, example assays for nucleic
acids (detection of different pathogens) and protein markers (such as CRP and
PSA) have been established. Recent developments are the integration of sample
preparation and polymerase chain reaction (PCR) on-chip between diagnostic
needs and available technologies can be closed.
monitoring of the immune system in both HIV patients and individuals who are
regarded as "at-risk" is critical in the decision making process for
when to start a patient on ART. A reliable and common method for such
monitoring is to observe any decline in the number of CD4 expressing T-helper
cells in the blood of a patient. However, the technology, expertise,
infrastructure and costs to carry out such a diagnostic cannot be handled by
medical services in resource-poor regions where HIV is endemic. A number of new
devices will soon be on the market. Many of the current and imminent devices
are enabled by microfluidic solutions.
1. Adv Drug
Deliv Rev. 2010 Mar 18;62(4-5):408-23. Emerging nanotechnology-based strategies
for the identification of microbial pathogenesis.Kaittanis C1, Santra S, Perez
2. Lab Chip.
2014 Jan 7;14(1):14-23. 8.Miniaturized nuclear magnetic resonance platform for
detection and profiling of circulating tumor cells. Castro CM1, Ghazani AA,
Chung J, et al.
3. Lab Chip.
2013 Jul 21;13(14):2731-48. Highly-integrated lab-on-chip system for
point-of-care multiparameter analysis. Schumacher S1, Nestler J, Otto T, et al.
4. Lab Chip.
2012 Feb 7;12(3):464-73. CD4 counting technologies for HIV therapy monitoring
in resource-poor settings--state-of-the-art and emerging microtechnologies.
Glynn MT1, Kinahan DJ, Ducrée J.
Glynn MT1, Kinahan DJ, Ducrée J.