Navigation Links
Portable diagnostics designed to be shaken, not stirred
Date:5/9/2012

As medical researchers and engineers try to shrink diagnostics to fit in a person's pocket, one question is how to easily move and mix small samples of liquid.

University of Washington researchers have built and patented a surface that, when shaken, moves drops along certain paths to conduct medical or environmental tests.

"This allows us to move drops as far as we want, and in any kind of layout that we want," said Karl Bhringer, a UW professor of electrical engineering and bioengineering. The low-cost system, published in a recent issue of the journal Advanced Materials, would require very little energy and avoids possible contamination by diluting or electrifying the samples in order to move them.

The simple technology is a textured surface that tends to push drops along a given path. It's inspired by the lotus effect a phenomenon in which a lotus leaf's almost fractal texture makes it appear to repel drops of water.

"The lotus leaf has a very rough surface, in which each big bump has a smaller bump on it," Bhringer said. "We can't make our surface exactly the same as a lotus leaf, but what we did is extract the essence of why it works."

The UW team used nanotechnology manufacturing techniques to build a surface with tiny posts of varying height and spacing. When a drop sits on this surface, it makes so little contact with the surface that it's almost perfectly round. That means even a small jiggle can move it.

Researchers used an audio speaker or machine to vibrate the platform at 50 to 80 times per second. The asymmetrical surface moves individual drops along predetermined paths to mix, modify or measure their contents. Changing the vibration frequency can alter a drop's speed, or can target a drop of a certain size or weight.

"All you need is a vibration, and making these surfaces is very easy. You can make it out of a piece of plastic," Bhringer said. "I could imagine this as a device that costs less than a dollar maybe much less than that and is used with saliva or blood or water samples."

In testing, different versions of the UW system could move the drops uphill, downhill, in circles, upside down, or join two drops and then move the combined sample.

The type of system is known as a "lab in a drop": all the ingredients are inside the drop, and surface tension acts as the container to keep everything together.

A student tried using a smartphone's speaker to vibrate the platform, but so far a phone does not supply enough energy to move the drops. To better accommodate low-energy audio waves, the group will use the UW's electron beam lithography machine to build a surface with posts up to 100 times smaller.

"There's good evidence, from what we've done so far, that if we make everything smaller then we will need less energy to achieve the same effect," Bhringer said. "We envision a device that you plug into your phone, it's powered by the battery of the phone, an app generates the right type of audio vibrations, and you run your experiment."
'/>"/>

Contact: Hannah Hickey
hickeyh@uw.edu
206-543-2580
University of Washington
Source:Eurekalert  

Related biology news :

1. New discovery may enhance MRI scans, lead to portable MRI machines
2. Portable kit may 1 day detect plant disease before disastrous outbreak
3. Scientists take step toward simple and portable tuberculosis tests for developing world
4. GestureTek Unveils The CUBE V3 Portable, Plug and Play Interactive Projection Display System for Advertising and Exhibits
5. GestureTek Unveils The CUBE V3 Portable, Plug and Play Interactive Projection Display System for Advertising and Exhibits
6. Quickly and easily integrate fingerprint biometric features into portable applications with Texas Instruments comprehensive, low cost fingerprint development kit
7. Ahram Biosystems Announces Launch of the Palm PCR(TM) Portable PCR System
8. Ahram Biosystems Announces Launch of the Palm PCR(TM) Portable PCR System
9. Microscope on the go: Cheap, portable, dual-mode microscope uses holograms, not lenses
10. Faster diagnostics through cheap, ultra-portable blood testing
11. MSU technology spin-out company to market portable biohazard detection
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Portable diagnostics designed to be shaken, not stirred
(Date:4/19/2016)... -- The new GEZE SecuLogic access control ... system solution for all door components. It can be ... interface with integration authorization management system, and thus fulfills ... dimensions of the access control and the optimum integration ... considerable freedom of design with regard to the doors. ...
(Date:4/13/2016)...  IMPOWER physicians supporting Medicaid patients in ... standard in telehealth thanks to a new partnership with ... IMPOWER patients can routinely track key health measurements, such ... and, when they opt in, share them with IMPOWER ... local retail location at no cost. By leveraging this ...
(Date:3/23/2016)... WAKEFIELD, Massachusetts , March 23, 2016 ... kombiniert im Interesse erhöhter Sicherheit Gesichts- und ... Xura, Inc. (NASDAQ: MESG ... heute bekannt, dass das Unternehmen mit SpeechPro ... insbesondere aus der Finanzdienstleistungsbranche, wird die Möglichkeit ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:5/3/2016)... ... May 03, 2016 , ... Flagship Biosciences, the leader ... to its Board of Directors. Dr. Gillett recently retired from Charles River Laboratories ... and Chief Scientific Officer. A board-certified veterinary pathologist, Dr. Gillett joined Charles River ...
(Date:5/3/2016)... May 3, 2016  Dr. Thomas P. McHugh ... The Woodlands, Texas , now offers ... of treated fat cells in just 25-minutes, leaving a ... 90 percent of Americans report feeling bothered by excess ... reduction procedures are a growing industry. This innovative new ...
(Date:5/2/2016)... Ohio (PRWEB) , ... May 02, 2016 , ... ... Designed with its clients in mind, the fresh look and added functionality give ... , “Recent years have seen a dynamic shift in agriculture – from precision ...
(Date:4/29/2016)... ... 29, 2016 , ... Proove Biosciences, Inc ., the ... launch of the Proove Health Foundation . The Foundation is a non-profit ... use of personalized medicine for tackling the nation’s most-pressing healthcare epidemics. As part ...
Breaking Biology Technology: