Presented by: Mike Ramsey, PhD, Minnie N. Goldby Distinguished Professor of Chemistry
The development of microfabricated fluidic technologies that could address biological measurement problems began in earnest twenty years ago. The diversity and sophistication of the experiments performed on microfluidic platforms has grown significantly over this time period. The range of chemical and biochemical measurement techniques that have been implemented on microchips includes various electrophoretic and chromatographic separations, chemical and enzymatic reactions, noncovalent recognition interactions, sample concentration enhancement, and cellular manipulations. In addition, the types of samples addressed by microchips has been broad in scope, e.g., small ions and molecules, single and double stranded DNA, amino acids, peptides, and proteins. These devices have low cost and small footprints while consuming miniscule quantities of reagents and can rapidly produce precise results. All of these features suggest the possibility to perform chemical and biochemical experimentation on a massive scale at low cost on a bench top or performing sophisticated assays in hand-held devices; these goals are being pursued by many laboratories around the world. Our efforts include nucleic acid and protein point-of-care diagnostic assays, cell-based assays, proteomic measurements and rapid single molecule DNA sequencing. An overview of microfluidics technologies and some of our recent efforts will be presented.