Corporate Banner
Satellite Banner
Automation & Microfluidics
Scientific Community
Become a Member | Sign in
Home>News>This Article

Automating Laboratory-On-A-Chip To Cut Healthcare Costs

Published: Friday, June 20, 2014
Last Updated: Monday, July 07, 2014
Bookmark and Share
Computer programming language automates “laboratory-on-a-chip” technologies and has potential to improve and reduce cost of healthcare.

A research team at the University of California, Riverside has created a computer programming language that will automate “laboratory-on-a-chip” technologies used in DNA sequencing, drug discovery, virus detection and other biomedical applications.

A laboratory-on-a-chip is a device that integrates laboratory functions on a chip that is only millimeters or centimeters in size. The technology allows for the automation and miniaturization of biochemical reactions. It has the potential and to improve and reduce the cost of healthcare.

“If you think of the beginning of computers they were basically tools to automate mathematics,” saidPhilip Brisk, an assistant professor in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering at UC Riverside’s Bourns College of Engineering. “What are we are creating is devices that could automate chemistry in much the same way.”

The most recent laboratory-on-a-chip devices are equipped with integrated electronic sensors, similar in principle to those used in today’s smart phones and tablet PCs. These sensors enable scientists and health care professionals working with the devices to analyze the sensor data to make informed decisions about future analyses to perform.

Brisk and his research team are funneling the sensor data into a computer, facilitating automated decision making, rather than employing a human-in-the-loop.

“We are really trying to eliminate as much human interaction as possible,” Brisk said. “Now, you have a chip, you use it and then you analyze it. Through automation and programmability, you eliminate human error, cuts costs and speed up the entire process.”

Brisk’s findings were recently published in a paper, “Interpreting Assays with Control Flow on Digital Microfluidic Biochips,” in ACM Journal on Emerging Technologies in Computing Systems.

There were two co-authors: Daniel Grissom, one of Brisk’s Ph.D. students; and Christopher Curtis, who worked with Brisk for three years as an undergraduate and plans to return as a Ph.D. student in the fall.

The team started with an existing biological programming language, BioCoder, developed by Microsoft’s research office in India. It was originally created to improve the reproducibility and automation of biology experiments by using a programming language to express the series of steps taken.

The UC Riverside team modified BioCoder to process sensor feedback in real-time. Using a software simulator to mimic the behavior of a laboratory-on-a-chip, they proved it works.  Now, in conjunction withWilliam Grover, an assistant professor of bioengineering at UC Riverside, they plan to build a prototype chip that can be used for real world applications.

This research is supported by the National Science Foundation under grant CNS-1035603, an NSF Graduate Research Fellowship awarded to Grissom, and a UC Riverside Dissertation Year Fellowship, also awarded to Grissom, who completes his Ph.D. in June, 2014.

Brisk was also recently awarded a five-year, $493,645 National Science Foundation CAREER grant for related research to apply semiconductor design automation and layout principles to laboratory-on-a-chip technology.

Further Information

Join For Free

Access to this exclusive content is for Technology Networks Premium members only.

Join Technology Networks Premium for free access to:

  • Exclusive articles
  • Presentations from international conferences
  • Over 3,500+ scientific posters on ePosters
  • More than 5,200+ scientific videos on LabTube
  • 35 community eNewsletters

Sign In

Forgotten your details? Click Here
If you are not a member you can join here

*Please note: By logging into you agree to accept the use of cookies. To find out more about the cookies we use and how to delete them, see our privacy policy.

Scientific News
Point of Care Diagnostics - A Cautious Revolution
Advances in molecular biology, coupled with the miniaturization and improved sensitivity of assays and devices in general, have enabled a new wave of point-of-care (POC) or “bedside” diagnostics.
First Entirely 3D-printed Organ-on-a-Chip with Integrated Sensors
New approach to manufacturing may allow researchers to rapidly design organs-on-chips that match the properties of a specific disease or individual patient's cells.
3D-Printing in Science: Conference Co-Staged with LABVOLUTION
LABVOLUTION 2017 will have an added highlight of a simultaneous conference, "3D-Printing in Science".
Size Matters for Particles in Bloodstream
Research uncovers more information about how particles behave in the human bloodstream.
Lab-on-a-Chip Detects Effects of Poison
A fast and efficient mixer has been developed for testing the effect of toxic substances faster by using a new lab-on-a-chip.
Analytical Science Breakthrough Could Lead To Medical Revolution
A breakthrough in analytical science s could allow pharmaceutical research to be faster and more precise.
Analysing 10,000 Cells Simultaneously
New techniquethat traps 10,000 cells on a single chip has potential for cancer screening for individuals.
Puttng Cells Through Their Paces
An obstacle course for human lung cells could be the answer for better testing the effectiveness of potential new drugs.
Dolomite Bio’s Single Cell RNA-Seq System Enables High Speed Encapsulation
Dolomite Bio has developed the Single-Cell RNA-Seq System for efficient, high throughput single cell transcriptomics.
NASA's DNA Sequencing in Space is a Success
DNA has been sequenced in space for the first time ever for the Biomolecule Sequencer investigation, using the MinION sequencing device.
Scroll Up
Scroll Down
Skyscraper Banner

SELECTBIO Market Reports
Go to LabTube
Go to eposters
Access to the latest scientific news
Exclusive articles
Upload and share your posters on ePosters
Latest presentations and webinars
View a library of 1,800+ scientific and medical posters
3,500+ scientific and medical posters
A library of 2,500+ scientific videos on LabTube
5,200+ scientific videos