Technology feature in Nature, Vol. 545, 25 May 2017, pp.511-514, “The making of a medical microchip”
Summary of article: A good overview of the use of microfluidics technology in medical diagnosis and point of care detection of etiological agents. Specifically, polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) based microfluidics technology was featured and its use in many areas of medical diagnostics such as detection of circulating tumour cells in cancer was detailed. Overall, current state of the art in microfluidics technology still precludes a simulation based approach for optimizing the flow of fluid within the microchannels on a chip, making repeated build, trial, and test, the key to understanding fluid flow on which analytical success hinges. Secondly, while cost of microfabrication has decreased, most microfluidics based technologies remain in the clinical diagnostic lab, and could not be field tested. Thus far, only the relatively new field of paper based microfluidics technology has achieved point-of-care diagnostic success in developing countries under tough field conditions. While a developing field, microfluidics promises high sensitive detection of previously hard to detect analytes, which will improve detection of virulent agents and tumour cells, thereby, aiding medical diagnostics, which is the first step towards disease control. Hence, microfluidics is essential knowledge for biomedical, life science, chemistry and engineering students, and the field has moved from simple analysis on a chip platform to realizing lab on a chip dreams.
Link to original article: https://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v545/n7655/full/545511a.html
Category: Interesting scientific articles, bioengineering, biotechnology, biochemistry, cancer,
Tags: microfluidics, microelectromechanical system (MEMS), lab on a chip, microchannel, medical diagnostics,