cheap microfluidics

Just a quick note before I go off to fire up a new report. (Cross posted from my tumblr feed)

Original article from the Wired.

Ok, here’s my take on it.
There seem to be a way to build a cheap microfluidic array using household materials costing around three cents. The materials involved are standard double sided tapes and paper (which acts as the pump for the liquid), etched using off-the-shelf laser cutter, a process usually relegated to multimillion dollar semiconductor fabricator.

Provided that mTAS chip systems utilizing chemical fluids follow a law similar to the one that seem to govern standard silicon chips, we might be living in an age signaling the beginning of largest medical sciences revolution in human history. Cheap and effective medical testing and possibly production solutions that can be distributed all over the globe for practically anyone to build on. If such technology can be combined with the openscience movements like the science commons, well the humanitarian and commercial potentials will be endless.

I did think of doing a io9 madscience entry (on science-fictional applications of synthetic biology) on synthetic biology-utilizing mTAS chip that can be used to manufacture minuscule amount of specified chemicals that can be used for periodic medications or for recovering out-house patients, but I scrapped it in favor of epigenetic production using extracellular matrices. This will be a promising development well-worth following up on.


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