Microfluidic Event in the North of Spain
The 19th of October , BIOARABA – Conference on Research and Innovation(the 17th Conference on Research OSI UNIVERSITY HOSPITAL ARABA / BIOARABA Research Institute, in collaboration with the Campus of Álava of the UPV / EHU) was held in Vitoria / Gasteiz, more precisely in the Palacio Europa, aimed at people who work on investigation and people who are interested in the topic of BIOTECHNOLOGY.
It has been a seminar directed by professionals who work on investigation and the citizens, who take advantage of the investigations that the companies carry out.
That is why, the citizens have had a great importance in this seminar, letting them choose the principal topic of the event, creating a bridge between professional people and stakeholders that do not know much about the topic, but moreover, are interested on it.
The seminar had two important points. On one hand, there were conferences where professionals take part, which were organized in “Workshops” and everybody give their opinion and experience about the topic. We worked on “NEW ANALYTICAL TECHNOLOGIES IN HEALTH”, been expertly managed by Arantxa Goicolea from UPV/EHU.
On the other hand, and as mentioned before, the citizens take part on the annual investigation award ceremony and they are also able to take part in the meeting of “Healthy aging, a health social and technological perspective” where the experts shared their opinion and knowledge about the topic.
One of our team member took part in this workshop talking about “New analytical technologies in health” together with, for example, Carmen Zugaza (Osakidetza),Javier Garaizar (UPV/EHU), Lourdes Basabe(UPV(EHU), Alberto Gómez (UPV), Carolina Núñez Domingo (UPV) or Raúl Pérez González (I+Med) and Jesica Ruiz Pérez (I+Med). Some of the topics discussed where Clinical analysis, immunological diagnosis or microfluidic systems.
Microfluidic Chips Manufacturing: Product workflow
From microfluidic design and prototype fabrication to final validation and mass production
In microLIQUID, these are the main steps we work with our customers. The design of the microfluidic architecture, based on the needs of the partner, is the spark of the project management process.
Once the microfluidic device design is accepted and developed, the second phase is the prototyping where the cost and the flexibility are key elements. We have the range of technologies to reach both objectifs
After the microfluidic prototypes are defined, we have to check that the design and the prototype meets the requirements, test the microfluidics and the biology/detection components to see they are working as expected. If so, we end with a final design of the microfluidic architecture.
This final design is the starting point for medium and mass production processes, where the customer has the concept tested, and the proximity to the market allows higher investments.
The final material(thermoplastics) , the architecture and the biological tests need to be decided, and these elements define the production process of medium batches, like hot embossing or photolitography.
If all the elements are clear, the injection moulding solution is the cheapest option for mass production, where, once the first investment is done, the replication of the microfluidic structures is cost effective and replication can be obtained.
To obtain the replication, the validation of the microfluidics, biology, design, detection and functionality are the final steps.
Microfluidics Manufacturing: Clean Room Facilities
microLIQUID has in-house the means to work in microfluidics and medical devices. Our main facilities are:
LABORATORY AND TESTING CLEAN ROOM – for project development & testing activities.
These means allow the company to develop:
Integration of the microfluidic manufacturing with biotechnological process treatments in the same manufacturing line ( surface treatmentes, Ag/Ab immobilization, freeze-drying etc) , Point of Care and Point of use Microfluidic Cartridges
Also, the company has the means to characterise and validate the microfluidic functionality required for final applications, with a Lab dedicated
microLIQUID has developed products for Biotech companies where the microfluidic development is done at the same time that the packaging and the equipment respecting the automation and the miniaturization (E.g. qPCR, test ELISA etc)
In our 400 m2 Clean Room Facility , the company does:
Design and simulation
Some Activities & Processes:
Hot Embossing etc…..
Microfluidic Manufacturing Technique: Xurography
Microfluidic Lab on a chip (LOC) technology opened the possibility of handling very small volumes, bringing about the opportunity to analyze samples that were previously beyond our reach.
In addition, it has proven to have the capacity to increase both speed and sensitivity, which combined with the fact that it is a tool on the same scale as the single cell and many fundamental biological processes makes LOC a well suited tool for investigation and manipulation of these processes.
During the last decade, there has been enormous amount of research towards finding the best material, simplifying fabrication techniques, improving biocompatibility and miniaturizing the device scale in order to develop devices which are more efficient, cheaper, faster, and have a higher throughput. In this framework, the need for a fabrication tool that speeds up the research work becomes clear.
Xurography is a prototyping technique that employs a knife plotter to structure thin foils.
This technique uses a cutting plotter traditionally used in the sign industry for cutting graphics in adhesive vinyl films
Manufacturers specify the resolution of the cutting plotters in terms of mechanical and addressable resolution. The mechanical resolution specifies the resolution of the motors, while the addressable resolution is the programmable step size.
There are three types of cutting methods, and the specific one is chosen as a function of the application.
– Drag knife: Drag knife cutting uses a swivel blade that follows the cutting path of the feature as it moves relative to the material. This introduces lateral force from the blade at sharp feature corners, which can break the tip when cutting harder or thicker substrates.
– True tangential: Controls blade position with an addressable motor. When cutting corners, the blade lifts completely out of the material and rotates to the new direction. Line segments can be over-cut to ensure the material is completely cut from top to bottom at feature corners. This is useful when cutting thick materials.
– Emulated tangential: Uses a swivel blade but lifts the blade just to the surface of the material before pivoting on the tip at a feature corner. This reduces lateral force on the blade. Over-cuts in emulated tangential plotters bring the blade into position before initiating a cut and ensure feature corners are completely severed from the rest of the material.