Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Researchers Developing Diagnostic 'Lab On A Chip'

Date:
August 11, 2007
Source:
Florida State University
Summary:
If you have ever marveled over the orderly process by which cars, buses and other modes of transportation are directed toward their destinations in a big city, you'll really appreciate the work of one Florida State University chemist. He is designing a "smart" traffic system similar to those in major metropolises. A major difference, though, is its size: this researcher's grid is small enough to fit on a tiny microchip.

Thomas Fischer
Credit: Bill Lax/FSU Photo Lab

If you have ever marveled over the orderly process by which cars, buses and other modes of transportation are directed toward their destinations in a big city, you'll really appreciate the work of one Florida State University chemist.

Thomas Fischer, an associate professor of chemistry and biochemistry at FSU, is designing a "smart" traffic system similar to those in major metropolises. A major difference, though, is its size: Fischer's traffic grid is small enough to fit on a tiny microchip.

Working with an FSU postdoctoral associate, Pietro Tierno, and another colleague, Professor Tom H. Johansen of the University of Oslo in Norway, Fischer has designed a "lab on a chip" -- a small device that, when exposed to very low magnetic fields, might one day be used as a portable tool for quickly diagnosing a variety of human illnesses.

"Currently, a doctor seeking to help a sick patient may take a blood sample and send it out to a laboratory," Fischer said. "In three or four days, the lab results will come back and the doctor will have a better idea of what ails the patient.

"With the 'lab on a chip,' however, it might be possible to take a single drop of the patient's blood, place it on a small chip, and then be able to provide a very quick, inexpensive and -- most important -- accurate diagnosis."

Fischer explained that the device would work by exposing the blood sample to very low magnetic field oscillations. In so doing, certain microscopic particles within the sample would be manipulated into "commuting" through an array of magnetic bubbles on the surface of the chip. Observing where various particles align themselves then would enable medical professionals to determine the nature of the patient's illness.

"Single molecules marking the presence or absence of a disease will be attached to magnetic particles a billion times smaller than a marble," Fischer said. "The magnetic traffic system then will guide these particles to different positions on the chip depending on their molecular marking."

A paper describing the research of Fischer, Tierno and Johansen was recently published in Physical Review Letters. That paper is entitled "Localized and Delocalized Motion of Colloidal Particles on a Magnetic Bubble Lattice."

In addition, Fischer, Tierno and another colleague, Lars Helseth, an assistant professor at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore, have submitted a patent application related to their 'lab on a chip.' The application, titled "Digital Transport of Paramagnetic Beads on Magnetic Garnet Films," states that their goal is to "control the location and movement of molecular objects on a microchip by modulating magnetic domains on the surface of the microchip."

A company, Siemens Medical Solutions, also has expressed interest in Fischer's technique. Plans to develop the magnetic chip further in a joint effort are under way.

Much more basic research must be done before such a diagnostic tool is ready for the marketplace. Fischer stressed that science "often is a long, laborious process that can take years to generate results. However, this sort of research is essential if breakthroughs in medicine and the sciences are to occur."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Florida State University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Florida State University. "Researchers Developing Diagnostic 'Lab On A Chip'." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 11 August 2007. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/08/070806160105.htm>.
Florida State University. (2007, August 11). Researchers Developing Diagnostic 'Lab On A Chip'. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/08/070806160105.htm
Florida State University. "Researchers Developing Diagnostic 'Lab On A Chip'." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/08/070806160105.htm (accessed October 21, 2014).

Share This



More Matter & Energy News

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Thanks, Marty McFly! Hoverboards Could Be Coming In 2015

Thanks, Marty McFly! Hoverboards Could Be Coming In 2015

Newsy (Oct. 21, 2014) If you've ever watched "Back to the Future Part II" and wanted to get your hands on a hoverboard, well, you might soon be in luck. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Robots to Fly Planes Where Humans Can't

Robots to Fly Planes Where Humans Can't

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Oct. 21, 2014) Researchers in South Korea are developing a robotic pilot that could potentially replace humans in the cockpit. Unlike drones and autopilot programs which are configured for specific aircraft, the robots' humanoid design will allow it to fly any type of plane with no additional sensors. Ben Gruber reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Graphene Paint Offers Rust-Free Future

Graphene Paint Offers Rust-Free Future

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Oct. 21, 2014) British scientists have developed a prototype graphene paint that can make coatings which are resistant to liquids, gases, and chemicals. The team says the paint could have a variety of uses, from stopping ships rusting to keeping food fresher for longer. Jim Drury reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
China Airlines Swanky New Plane

China Airlines Swanky New Plane

Buzz60 (Oct. 21, 2014) China Airlines debuted their new Boeing 777, and it's more like a swanky hotel bar than an airplane. Enjoy high-tea, a coffee bar, and a full service bar with cocktails and spirits, and lie-flat in your reclining seats. Sean Dowling (@SeanDowlingTV) has the details. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins