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Integrated and functional Lab-on-Chip

Final Report Summary - INFULOC (Integrated and functional Lab-on-Chip)

The integrated and functional Lab-on-Chip (InFuLoC) project was focussed on achieving a higher level of integration and functionality within Lab-on-chip (LoC) systems and developing environmental and medical applications for the developed devices.

The integration of microvalves was demonstrated that would allow more sophisticated fluidic processing. The microvalves were employed with sensitive optical detection for a simple microbioreactor that was used for monitoring intracellular Green Fluorescence Protein in transformed Escherichia coli cells. For more demanding fluidic control, we fabricated a 4x6 cell culturing element array that was used for cytotoxicity testing of pyocyanine on human breast cancer (MCF-7) cells and assessment for toxic effect on human hepatocyte carcinoma (HepG2) liver cells as an indicator for liver injury. The miniaturised cell culturing array was further demonstrated for sequential combinatorial effects of a chemotherapeutic drug (paclitaxel) and aspirin on MCF-7 cells. The development of such miniaturised systems offers the potential to better mimic the in vivo microenvironment of cell or tissues and provide a better model than is available from existing cell culture and animal studies with potentially significant impact on the reduction of testing on animals.

A novel optical broadband cavity enhanced absorption spectrometry (BBCEAS) approach was demonstrated for higher sensitivity absorption detection. The BBCEAS approach uses high reflectivity mirrors to increase the pathlength with light emitting diode (LED) as a low cost light source. The BBCEAS are particularly attractive within LoC because of the short pathlength. We demonstrated integration of BBCEAS within a LoC system and for immunoassay, a ~ 35 fold increase in sensitivity osteocalcin sandwich assay.

A laser micromachining approach was used for creation of boron doped diamond (BDD). These are attractive as replacement of mercury based electrodes since they have similar electroanalysis performance without the potential release into the environment of toxic chemicals. The developed electrode system can be used for detection of heavy metals in river water and lead in tap water. Biomedical applications that were developed focussed on the detection of bacteria and protein misfolding disorders within serum. The former is of particularly important risk in respect of blood transfusion. Protein Misfolded Disorders (PMD) are of increasing concern with an aging population in developed countries and the implications of this for health resources.