Labs On a Chip More Accessible with 3D Printing

It's called Lab on a chip technology.

Lab on a chip is designed to serve multiple lab functions and place them into a single miniature chip. The applications range from data processing, diagnostics and cell analysis. The technology is now being expanded through open source, input from scientists and technology and 3D printing.

One of the major difficulties encountered in that past has been the fragility of these mini labs on a chip.  They have been difficult and expensive to produce, keeping them out of reach for anybody without a substantial budget but now 3d printing is allowing for the chips to be created on-demand and for much less.

lab on a chip 3d printing

According to  an Irish experimental physicist and electrical engineer, explaining his interest on 3D printed lab on chips:

“The fact that 3D printing can take place with a wide range of materials means that such chips can either be made to be chemically inert or chemically active, or perhaps more interestingly, inert in some regions with controlled activity in other regions of the circuit," said Irish scientist Muon Ray.  "Catalysts, either inorganic or organic, could be embedded within the very material the device is made of in a certain region to perform a certain chemical reaction. This controlled tailoring of micro fluidics is a very important step in making small scale devices that can perform precise functions on chemical compounds sent in at one end and producing products at the other end.”

In lay terms, processing and analysis for scientists is becoming easier with more accessible labs on a chip.

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