Lab on a Chip

We’re proud to be at the forefront of the development of micro-devices that significantly reduce the time taken to analyse DNA, as well as assess the reaction of a patient’s body to new drugs.

The University develops ‘Lab on a Chip’ (LOC) technology which harnesses miniaturisation for novel chemistry and biological sciences applications, impossible by conventional methods.

There is currently work underway to investigate how to mass produce this technology, which essentially makes experiments small enough to fit on a device the size of an iPod.

Any biochemical experiment can be adapted to work on-chip, with the innovation and vast potential being in integrating such processes.

This means that experiments such as DNA profiling could be done by forensic scientists at a crime scene, rather than in a traditional laboratory, saving time and problems with transporting samples. However, in order to get to the point of optimising these processes and making them small (and stable) enough to fit on a chip, many research hours have been undertaken by academics from a range of schools at the University.

The work to further refine the technology is still ongoing, for example exploring developments of the technology in the areas of personalised medicine and disease identification.

The ‘Lab on a Chip’ approach can be combined with mobile phone technology to produce hand-held units that allow people to monitor their health and life style, getting advice whenever they need it, wherever they are!

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