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Knowledge At MET

Knowledge At MET


LAB ON A CHIP (LOC) is a device that integrates one or several laboratory functions on a single chip of only few millimeters to achieve automation and high throughput screening.

BioMEMS can be defined in general as “devices or systems constructed using techniques inspired from micro fabrication that are used for processing, delivery, manipulation, analysis, or construction of biological and chemical entities.

BioMEMS devices are similar to LOC, typically focusing on MEMS (Micro –Electro-Mechanical systems) with biological applications.

LAB ON A CHIP (Also known as micro total analytical systems or microTAS) designed to miniaturize analytical or bioanalytical techniques and integrates them into a micro fabricated format.

Techniques such as chemical separation (electrophoresis, chromatography) etc or immunoassays are incorporated into micro fabricated systems (typically glass, silicon or polymer) with a goal of increasing performance, minimizing reagent requirement, and decreasing cost. 

LOC device is use to capture, sort, culture, or study cells, study interfacial phenomena & produce Pharmaceuticals. Advantages such as reduced costs, low sample volumes, and ease of use allow LOC Technology to be used extensively in point- of – care diagnostics in less – developed countries.


(Biological microelectromechanical systems)

Application of BioMEMS: Micro and nano systems for genomics, proteomics, drug – delivery analysis, molecular assembly, tissue engineering, biosensor development , nanoscale imaging, etc diagnostics to micro-fluidics, systems for drug delivery, tissue engineering, and implantable systems.

Biological samples can be analyzed in a very small area with considerably reduced cost and time, by forming micro- fluidic channels on silicon substrate and combining them with on chip electronics.

Some examples for such applications include on-chip electrophoresis systems, polymerized-chain reaction (PCR) units, DNA sequencing chips, and complex lab-on-a-chip devices.

There are currently various BioMEMS related projects going on at METU-MEMS, including DNA electrophoresis systems, dielectrophoresis chips for cell separation, gravimetric sensors for cancer cell detection, microvalves and pumps for lab-on-a-chip systems, and electrochemical sensors for bacteria

Health Applications Of Loc Technology Are Given Below :

  1. Diagnosis of Infectious Diseases: The disposable enterics card (DEC) is an LOC-based application that helps detect enteric infections caused by organisms such as Escherichia coli , Shigella dysenteriae , Salmonella, and Shiga Toxin- producing Escherichia coli . These organisms can be detected from a small amount of fecal sample on a
  2. Handheld Diagnostics: Handheld diagnostic devices using LOC can rapidly analyze blood samples of patients and precisely detect various strains of HIV, thus allowing tailored treatment plans which are more effective and also helping to minimize drug wastage and drug
  3. Detection of Analytes: Detection of analytes such as electrolytes in blood samples e.g. the iSTAT from Abbott
  4. Diagnostic chips for bipolar disorder, cancer, and male fertility: LOC device used for monitoring blood lithium levels of patients suffering from bipolar disorder and urinary sodium levels in patients with kidney

It can be estimated that over a decade, biotechnological, medical and chemical analysis will move from room-sized laboratories to microchip based laboratories, housed in hand-held, portable readout devices.

Jyoti Sharma

Final Year



Tags: MET Institute of Pharmacy