Lab-on-Chip (LOC) is the term used for a miniaturized device that integrates into a single chip one or several analyses, which are usually done in a laboratory; analyses such as DNA sequencing or biochemical detection. Research on lab-on-a-chip focuses on several applications including human diagnostics, DNA analysis and, to a lesser extent, the synthesis of chemicals. The miniaturization of biochemical operations normally handled in a laboratory has numerous advantages, such as cost efficiency, parallelization, ergonomics, diagnostic speed and sensitivity
At Satapathi Lab, we have developed a 3D Printing based fabrication approach to make LOC devices for Point-of-Care applications and to experimentally address a wide range of biological questions which couldn’t be addressed using conventional cell-cultures.
Microfluidics-based diagnostics is an emerging field and is preferred over conventional diagnostic systems because of the faster sample processing, lower reagent volume per test and the fact that it allows for Point-of-Care (POC) diagnosis in inaccessible areas. We design POC diagnosis devices with integrated optical and electronic sensors for both pathogenic diseases (M.Tb, Dengue, Malaria etc.) and non-pathogenic diseases like various forms of Carcinomas. ELISA and MTT Assays are some of the commonly used diagnostic methodologies in laboratories and we work towards the development of their ‘On-Chip’ versions which are not only more sensitive than the conventional assays, but at the same time more cost-effective and could be deployed in remote locations.
(b) DROPLET MICROFLUIDICS
Droplet-based microfluidic systems have been shown to be compatible with many chemical and biological reagents and capable of performing a variety of “digital-fluidic” operations that can be rendered programmable and reconfigurable. This platform has dimensional scaling benefits that have enabled controlled and rapid mixing of fluids in the droplet reactors, resulting in decreased reaction times. In addition to using the droplets as microreactors ranging from the nano- to femtoliter range; we are also using the droplet-based systems to directly synthesize nano-particles and encapsulate many biological entities for drug-delivery and solar, sensor applications.