Digging deeper into the potential of microfluidics

The goal of Life-on-Chip, which took place in Leuven on 22 February, was to speed up the innovation process towards new healthcare solutions. The conference focused on the cross-fertilisation potential between several cutting-edge technologies, such as microfluidics, which was discussed by the experts of Sirris's Micro Lab and Product Development Hub.

The domain of microfluidics deals with the behaviour, control and manipulation of very low volumes of fluids - microlitres and even below. It is a multidisciplinary field at the intersection of engineering, physics, chemistry, nanotech, biotech, ... The application domains of microfluidics include R&D and production, such as micro reactors for continuous flow chemistry, medical applications such as drug delivery systems, in-vitro diagnosis, such as point-of-care diagnostic kits and lab-on-a-chip devices.

Typically, fluids are transported, mixed, separated or otherwise processed. Designing, fabricating and formulating devices and processes that deal with such low volumes of fluids require micro-manufacturing skills. There are quite a few benefits to working on such small scale:

  • Less volume of samples, chemicals and reagents
  • Unique chemical and physical features due to micro-scale
  • Many operations in parallel, multiplexing
  • Reduced cost (polymers, replication)
  • Accurate control of process conditions (flow, temperature, pressure, …)
  • Reduced time of experiment
  • Automation

Engineering solutions for your healthcare applications

By carefully addressing the early stages in the development of a microfluidic device, you minimise product risk during manufacturing and industrialisation. A good example of the added value, emerging from the encounter of two different worlds such as healthcare and engineering, can be found in this new generation of microfluidic devices.

The micro-manufacturing skills required can be found at Sirris's Micro Lab. We can help you in the process of developing and evaluating a prototype, from the very first idea to the pre-series ready for industrialisation.

The 20 experts of the Sirris Product Development Hub help companies to create innovative products and support them in the rapid development of proofs of concept in the field of light, micro & smart products. We have the engineering resources, high-tech facilities and a vast network of partners to help you with every step of the way during the process of developing microfluidic devices:

  • Design and simulations
  • Proof of concept, by direct micromachining (10 μm diam. tools) and/or micro-3D-printing
  • Prototype manufacturing, based on fast tooling and prototype moulds for injection moulding
  • Assembly and bonding
  • Integration of sensors or third-party items (filters, strips)
  • Conditioning (reagent pre-loading)

Interested in what we can do for you? Contact us or visit us at MedTech on 20 March!