Diamond Nanocrystal Microfluidic Sensor Moves Bioparticles

Measurement of weak magnetic fields is a trillion-dollar business. Multiple gigabytes of data, are stored and quickly retrieved from chips the size of a coin, at the core of consumer electronics. Even higher data densities could be attained by improving magnetic detection sensitivity, potentially down to nano-tesla levels. Enhanced magnetic sensitivity would also be useful in many scientific areas, for example identification of biomolecules such as DNA or viruses. Such research must often take place in a warm, wet environment, where clean conditions or low temperatures are not possible. [Read More]

Light Can Mold and Move Hydrogels

Using only light, hydrogels and be moved around and re-shaped, computer simulations done at the University of Pittsburgh have shown. Animals like the octopus and cuttlefish that transform their shape depending on their environment have long been the subject of interest for researchers. This is because mimicking similar biological responses in non-living organisms would have considerable implications in the medical arena. Using hydrogels, which are the materials that constitute most contact lenses and microfluidic or fluid-controlled technologies, such a biomimetic response has now been demonstrated. [Read More]

Lab on a Chip Testing Standards Needed for Commercialization

Microfluidic and nanofluidic lab on chip (LOC) devices are microchip sized systems that can arrange and analyze tiny fluid samples with volumes ranging from a few microliters (a millionth of a liter) to sub-nanoliters (less than a billionth of a liter). They are envisaged to one day revolutionize how laboratory tasks such as diagnosing diseases and investigating forensic evidence are performed. But before LOC technology can be fully commercialized, a new paper from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) states, testing standards will need to be developed and put into place. [Read More]