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May 15th, 2008
Finite-element analysis has allowed researchers in Singapore to make good time with their experiments on clockwork PCR (polymerase chain reaction) for carrying out biomedical research. Their lab-in-a-drop device using components adapted from a standard computer CD-ROM drive, potentially making it commercially viable even for cash-strapped laboratories in the developing world.
Juergen Pipper and his team at the Institute of Bioengineering and Nanotechnology in Singapore explain in the current issue of Angewandte Chemie how analysis and chip-based diagnostics will come of age once sample preparation techniques that overcome practical limitations are available. They point out that until now samples usually have to be prepared separately and on a relatively large scale prior to feeding into such chip-based analytical devices.
"With a few exceptions, the micro total analysis systems (micro-TAS) currently available have failed to live up to the ideal of the miniaturization of multiple laboratory operations on to a single chip," say the researchers, "These systems perform sample preparation off chip and only pursue a single function."
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