JEFF HASTY LAB / UC SAN DIEGO / NIGMS / NIH / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY JEFF HASTY LAB / UC SAN DIEGO / NIGMS / NIH / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Microfluidic chips have many uses in biology labs. The one shown here was used by bioengineers to study bacteria, allowing the researchers to synchronize their fluorescing so they would blink in unison. Microfluidics is a multidisciplinary field intersecting engineering, physics, chemistry, biochemistry, nanotechnology, and biotechnology, with practical applications to the design of systems in which low volumes of fluids are processed to achieve multiplexing, automation, and high-throughput screening. A LOC (lab-on-a-chip) is closely related to, and overlaps with, microfluidics which describes primarily the physics, the manipulation and study of minute amounts of fluids. LOC is a device that integrates one or several laboratory functions on a single chip of only millimetres to a few square centimetres to achieve automation and high-throughput screening. LOCs deal with the handling of extremely small fluid volumes down to less than pico.
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