JOANNEUM RESEARCH is leading an international consortium that is conducting intensive research into the next generation of lab-on-a-chip systems. Soon, so-called minilabs of foil-based microfluidics for rapid diagnostics - for example for COVID-19 - will be able to go into large-scale production.
The potential of microfluidic lab-on-a-chip systems is enormous, especially in medicine, pharmaceuticals, production and analytics. With the H2020 project "NextGenMicrofluidics", an Open Innovation Test Bed, a new EU format similar to pilot lines, was awarded to a consortium coordinated by JOANNEUM RESEARCH.
Flexible lab-on-a-chip systems are labs-on-a-foil
"One advantage of lab-on-a-chip systems is that complex analyses can be automated even in small laboratories with relatively little technical equipment," summarises project leader Martin Smolka from JOANNEUM RESEARCH.
"This joint project will accelerate the introduction of roll-to-roll technologies for high-throughput manufacturing of microfluidic systems. We will then no longer manufacture microfluidic components as individual pieces, but on large films using embossing, printing and lamination processes. This works in a similar way to newspaper printing. This means we will soon reach an unrivalled level in the production speed of flexible lab-on-a-chip systems, so-called labs-on-a-foil," Smolka is convinced.