Students delve into the world of lab-on-a-chip technology

21st October

Hundreds of students have been delving into the miniaturised world of lab-on-a-chip technology at an international conference chaired by a University of Hull professor.

The pupils attended a lecture by one of the world’s leading experts in the field and took part in a series of hands-on activities when they attended the 20th International Conference on Miniaturized Systems for Chemistry and Life Sciences (MicroTAS).

This was the first time that the conference has staged an outreach event for students.

The aim of the event was to showcase research in the field of micro-fluidics and enthuse the next generation of scientists.

Professor Nicole Pamme, joint chair of the conference and Professor in Analytical Chemistry and the University of Hull, said:

Within our research community, a lot of people have developed some really cool demonstrations.
I thought it would be a good idea to bring them together and give something back to the young people in the city hosting the conference.
Hopefully, the students found it fun and developed a greater appreciation of what people are doing at the cutting edge of modern science.
We hope the event will convince more students to study science at school, especially if they hadn’t considered it before.

MicroTAS is the premier forum for reporting research results in microfluidics, micro fabrication, nanotechnology, integration, materials and surfaces, analysis and synthesis, and detection technologies for life science and chemistry.

This year, the conference was held at the Convention Centre Dublin, with more than 1100 scientists and professionals from around the world taking part.

Professor Sabeth Verpoorte, from the University of Groningen in Holland, delivered the outreach lecture to local students.

Lab on a chip is an innovative technology that enables scientists to shrink a whole laboratory, and all basic functions carried out there, to chip size.

The University of Hull is at the forefront of research in the field and is currently looking into ways to mass produce the technology.

Lab-on-a-chip technology can be used to produce individualised treatment plans for patients with cancer, heart or lung disease by studying living tissues on the chip.

It is also being developed to test for pathogens in water in resource-poor countries where water monitoring facilities are scarce.

The multi-disciplinary research is carried out by academic staff from the areas of chemistry, engineering, physics, biology and medicine.

Professor Pamme joined the University of Hull as a lecturer in Analytical Chemistry in 2005. She was promoted to senior lecturer in 2011, reader in 2013 and Professor in 2014. Professor Pamme is also the Director of Research for the School of Mathematics and Physical Sciences at the University.

Back to top