Microfluidics in Bioanalytics, Medical diagnostics and Food Science

diagnostics and food chemistry

Monday June 18, 2012, 9:00 am - 5:00 pm, Santa Clara, California


This workshop will present a critical evaluation of the use of microfluidics in bioanalytics, medical diagnostics and food science. Besides the standard bioanalytical devices, and thanks to fundamental advances in micro and nanofluidics, many applications have integrated nanotechnology elements: we will particularly discuss food and feed applications; for instance, the use of nanoporous membrane developed to filter off bacteria and viruses in drinking water will be presented in the workshop.

This course will review the basis of microfabrication and microfluidics which is a fundamental knowledge to understand their application in bioanalytics as well as their use in drinking water nanofiltration for instance.

Opportunity to miniaturise bioanalytical tools

The recent evolution of research in miniaturisation has given building blocks such as microarrays and rapid separation devices to the scientific community. The future opportunity in the miniaturisation of analytical tools in proteomics relies on the integration of an increased number of functions (sample extraction, pre-concentration, etc) in order to avoid any external fluid handling and/or sample transfer along the entire analysis workflow.

The rationalisation of proteomic tools presents a fantastic opportunity for the development of microfluidics. Several sequential and cumbersome steps can indeed be simplified by using modular approaches for sample preparation. This trend is exemplified by the recent introduction by Agilent Technologies of lab-on-a-chip multidimensional chromatography coupled to mass spectrometry. Current and future developments in the field of nanospray sampling will also be reviewed and criticised during the workshop.

Specific use of micro and nanotechnology in food chemistry

The use of new tools in the feed and food market has also grown in the recent time. For instance, the use of nanoporous material used to filtrate water has enabled to reduce massively the use of chlore in the disinfection of drinking water network in many cities. This advanced coupled to nanoactive carbon black is expected to treat drinking water which has been contaminated with drugs or pesticides for instance.

On the other hand, the integration of specific nanoparticles in polymer enables to reduce the permeation of gas into plastic bottles, which permit the prolongation of food conservation. The use of these technologies is of prime interest in the different domain of application but it can also bring some fear or irrational understanding from the consumer. Some critical consideration of the use of micro and nanotechnology in relation with food chemistry will be discussed.


The objective of the course is dual; first it should help the scientific community to better know the state of the art and limitation of nano/microfabrication and on the other hand, understand how the related technology have recently been implemented in different domain of application such as medical diagnostics and food chemistry. Review of actual application will be presented and should bring a clear view of the potential and limitation of micro- and nano-fluidics in the different field of applications.

Course Contents

  1. Review of the micro/nanofabrication and related microfluidic
    1. Miniaturisation technologies
      In this section, we will rapidly review different miniaturisation technologies that can be used to fabricate micro- and/or nano-structures using glass, silicon or polymer supports.
    2. Understanding of microfluidic bases
      In this section, we will explain the fundamental aspect of micro and nanofluidics and the specific advantage and limitation it can provide when applied at different scales;
  2. Review of the different field of application of micro/nanofluidics
    1. Review of currently available miniaturised analytical devices in diagnostics
      This section will list (non-exhaustively) some diagnostic devices already present on the market and which embed microfluidic elements. Special emphasis will be given to blood sensors detecting glucose and cardiac markers for instance.
    2. Further opportunity to miniaturise diagnostics tools
      This section will present some market opportunity for microfluidic instrumentation in point-of-care analytics but also in reference labs, where throughput and time-to-results are essential economical parameters.Other specific needs such as children diagnostics and/or testing of rare samples such as spinal fluid represent other opportunities for microfluidics to be embarked into future analytical instrumentation.
  3. Specific use of nanotechnology and microfluidics in Food and Feed market
    1. A special section will be dedicated to the use of micro and nanotechnology in food and feed sciences both in terms of food treatment technology or active element implemented in food themselves as preservatives for instance.

Who should attend

The course targets different sets of attendees:

  • Students in analytical or biological and food chemistry who will design analytical systems or implantable devices using micro- and/or nano-fluidics; it will show that not only science is governing the success of a microfluidic device but also the environment and acceptability of the potential users.
  • Scientists in biology, physics, medicine, and food chemistry etc who have to make a strategic choice in their future laboratory equipment in order to use microfluidics.
  • Investors, industrial deciders who need or want to see the potential and threats of microfluidics in the development of novel biological tools.

For each participant, the course will give a clear overview of the current use of microfluidics in modern life sciences as well as its growth opportunity in the future.

Course Instructor

Joël S. RossierJoël S. Rossier studied physical chemistry at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich - ETHZ, followed by a Ph.D. thesis at the Laboratory of Analytical and Physical Electrochemistry in Lausanne, under the supervision of Prof Hubert Girault. His work partly done in collaboration with Kansas University was focused on the development of µ-chips for diagnostics and electrophoresis applications and was rewarded by the BioRad's Young Scientist Electrophoresis Research Award in 1998.In 1999, Joël S. Rossier co-founded DiagnoSwiss, a Swiss based company developing microfluidic diagnostics and proteomics systems in collaboration with multinational companies such as Biomérieux and Agilent Technologies which launched in 2006 a product (OFFGELTM-electrophoresis) based on DiagnoSwiss’ technology portfolio.In 2010, he joined the direction the food control authority of the canton Valais (Switzerland) where he leads chemical and biological laboratory for food safety.

Joël S. Rossier is author of more than 45 peer-reviewed research articles and 14 patent applications. He is regularly invited as reviewer and editor for international scientific journals (Editorial Board of Electrophoresis, NanoMedicine and Expert Opinion in Medical Diagnostics), and he co-edited a book entitled Microfluidic Application in Biology (Wiley publisher 2006). Dr Rossier co-founded the Swiss Proteomics Society and, in order to keep a strong link to academic institutions, he has been appointed in 2005 as external lecturer at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne (EPFL).


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Nanotech Conference & Expo  

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Platinum Sponsor

Jackson Walker

Association Sponsor

Clean Technology and Sustainable Industries Organization (CTSI)

Producing Sponsor

Nano Science and Technology Institute

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Applied Materials
Fraunhofer TechBridge
Kauffman Foundation
Lockheed Martin
SK Innovation
*Sponsorship Opportunities: Contact Chris Erb

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