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Micro-instruments for life science research

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3 Author(s)
van der Schoot, B. ; Inst. of Microtechnology, Neuchatel Univ., Switzerland ; Boillat, M. ; de Rooij, N.

Microsystem technology is rapidly becoming a key element in the development of advanced instrumentation for bioanalytical research. The use of microtechnology for the realization of complex instruments offers a reduction in required resources (e.g., volume, mass, and power), as well as an improved performance. Microfluidic components allow the precise and rapid handling of nanoliter volumes and chemical sensors permit high-speed measurement and control of environmental conditions. As these instruments usually operate with liquid samples, interfacing the microfabricated components to the entire system presents a major challenge. A hybrid solution that merges silicon technology with classical fine mechanical machining is most suited. As an example, a miniature bioreactor that has been used aboard Spacelab is described. It is shown that this technology now has reached a certain maturity that enables instrument performance far superior to what would be achievable with conventional methods

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Instrumentation and Measurement, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:50 ,  Issue: 6 )