IBM Research - Zurich,
Keywords: diagnostics, microfluidic chips
Summary:Diagnostics are ubiquitous in healthcare because they support prevention, diagnosis and treatment of diseases. Specifically, point-of-care diagnostics are particularly attractive for identifying diseases near patients, quickly, and in many settings and scenarios. One of our contribution to the field of microfluidics is the development of capillary-driven microfluidic chips for highly miniaturized immunoassays. In this presentation, I will review how to program capillary flow and encode specific functions to form microfluidic elements that can easily be assembled into self-powered devices for immunoassays. I will also present how small peripherals can augment the functionality of microfluidic chips that have integrated electrodes for example for monitoring flow with sub-nanoliter precision and for providing connectivity to smartphones. All together, capillary-driven elements can bring extremely high control for manipulating sub-microliter volumes of samples and picogram quantities of reagents and may therefore extend the performances of microfluidic devices for point-of-care diagnostics to a next level of precision.