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Interdisciplinary research towards integrated systems and their applications based on emerging convergence of information & communication technologies, micro-nano and bio technologies is expected to have a direct impact in healthcare, ageing population and well being. Micro-Nano-Bio Systems (MNBS) research and development activities under the European Union's R&D Programs, Information & Communication Technologies priority address miniaturised, smart and integrated systems for in-vitro testing (e.g. lab-on-chips) and systems interacting with the human (e.g. autonomous implants, endoscopic capsules and robotics for minimally invasive surgery). Projects addressing in-vitro testing focus on research, development and testing of technology building blocs (e.g. sample preparation technique, ultra sensitive detection technique, chemistry process for molecular recognition and microfluidics) and their integration into smart and miniaturised systems e.g. DNA & protein arrays, biochips, Lab on Chip and Lab on Card. Current challenges and developed solutions as well as open issues to fully meet technological and socioeconomic needs are presented in this paper as background introductory information to the mini-symposium on “MNBS in-vitro testing”. Relevant examples of R&D within the group will be presented in the mini-symposium.