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SELECTBIO Conferences MetaboMeeting 2015Flow Chemistry India 2016Epigenetics in Drug DiscoveryAntibodies in Drug DiscoveryFlow Chemistry Europe 2016ePoster Award PrizeBlogs
November 2015
An Interview with Professor Chua Chee Kai
29 Jul 2015

Professor Chua Chee Kai is the Executive Director of the Singapore Centre for 3D Printing (SC3DP), School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore

Professor Chua Chee Kai was Conference Chairman  at the recent International Bioprinting Congress held in Singapore on 9 - 10 July.  This successful event will be returning to Singapore on 21-22 July 2016.                             

1) Could you please tell us more about the work you do and what are your research interests?

3D printing is a fascinating technology that inspires, as the possibilities are endless. I first became intrigued by the idea when I was doing my PhD in Germany. I remember watching engineers manufacture by chipping away furiously at a block of material. The amount of wastage generated confounded me. That experience motivated me to think about additive manufacturing, where things add up to create a greater part.

As I got into this line of 3D printing, I began thinking of the real-life benefits such a technology can bring to humans. I was passionate about saving lives, and bioprinting can do exactly that.

2) You have been working on 3D printing which was known then as Rapid Prototyping for more than two decades now. How has the progress been?  

3D printing has been around for more than two decades, even though the technology has garnered attention worldwide only in recent years. Comparing then and now, 3D printing has become more consumer-friendly and mainstream, mainly due to the several breakthroughs via research and development, and partly because of new materials and techniques.

The 3D printing technology has developed to the point that the Economist has labelled it as the Third Industrial Revolution. Such a revolution will open up the manufacturing industry to the entire world, and bring the 3D printing technology into the consumer’s home, where everyone can partake in the innovation.

At the same time, and perhaps more crucially, 3D printing is now able to make significant contributions to industries such as Aerospace and Defence, Building and Construction, Marine and Offshore, Bioprinting and Food Printing.

3D printing is not just about replacing any existing technologies — it is about creating brand new products with totally new possibilities, which was not possible with the old technologies. It is not only a game-changer for industries and their businesses, but also a life-changer for many people.

3) Could you tell us more about the 3D Scaffold for cardiac tissue engineering project you are working on?

In living tissues, cells exist in 3D environment where they interact with each other in a matrix manner. As such, it would be inaccurate and insufficient for us to study tissues in 2D representations, as they do not reflect the complexity of how the cells work.

The use of 3D scaffolds will enable researchers to have a clearer understanding of the interactions between cells. It is important to note that the biological interactions between the cells and the scaffold are determined by the material properties and scaffold characteristics. Henceforth, the materials used for the fabrication of scaffolds must have the right biological and chemical make-up for them to be recognised by the cells, to induce further interactions to bring about tissue regeneration.

4) What is the role of Additive Manufacturing (AM) technology in 3D Bioprinting and what is its potential? 

3D bioprinting is breaking out as an emerging field within the AM technology that is to be reckoned with in many years to come moving forward. The role of 3D printing in the medical industry is very important due to its far-stretching benefits to both the medical professionals and the patients.

To the doctors, 3D printed medical devices are more sophisticated yet precise. With a 3D printed replica of a body part, surgeons are now able to study the complications of the operation in more depth, and more importantly, they are now able to rehearse the procedures before the surgery proper. This is important especially in complex surgeries where the margins for errors are low. 

For the patients, they are already benefiting from the 3D printed prosthetic limbs and implants, which allow for greater degree of customisation for increased comfort and fit. The success and benefits of such developments have spurred researchers to think about further possibilities for the medical industry — the latest vision being to print human tissues and organs using the 3D printing technology. The reported success of functional blood vessels being 3D printed had many researchers excited as this will open the doors to new approaches that will probably bring a new dawn to the medical industry.

The focus of research is now on the usage of human cells as the bio-ink in the printer. While 3D bioprinting offers benefits to areas like drug testing, the ultimate aim is undoubtedly to develop completely functional organs for transplant. As 3D printed organs are developed using the patient’s cells, the risk of rejection by the body is very much lowered.

5) What are some of the challenges 3D bioprinting scientists face? 

Many obstacles lie ahead for the development of 3D bioprinting before it can become mainstream. For instance, as the technology is in a very premature stage, there will be high initial costs mainly due to the costs of the bioprinters. There is also a regulatory issue as authorities have yet to agree on a consensus to regulate this technology. 

Perhaps the biggest limitation lies in the ability to 3D print complex and vital human organs such as the heart and liver. The challenge is in vascularising the organs to help them survive — creating a network of integrated blood vessels is not easy, which is why engineers like ourselves will not be able to achieve this milestone alone. We need the expertise and biological knowledge of medical professionals to make this work.

6) Have we made any progress in this field, with respect to clinical applications? 

In terms of timeline, drug testing will most probably be the first commercial application of 3D bioprinting. Currently, drugs are commonly tested in animals such as rats. While their biological make-up is similar to humans, we can never know for sure the reactions the drugs will have on the human body. With the 3D bioprinting technology, miniature human organs can be printed for purposes of such testing. This application is estimated to be in the market by as soon as the next couple of years.

Another application that is estimated to be launched in the short term by year 2018 is 3D printed skin. This application will be a boost for the cosmetic medical field, as it represents a cheaper alternative which will also cause less scarring for burn patients. Similarly, within the next decade, we should also see 3D printed cartilage replacements in the market.

The revolutionary 3D printed human organs would take a longer time to materialise. As studies in this area are still in a very preliminary stage, it is difficult to estimate the availability of this eventual target of the 3D bioprinting technology. However, the commercial interest, and more crucially, the medical needs of this application is huge. As of now, a big gap exists between organ supply and demand worldwide. 3D bioprinting has the potential to address this currently unmet need.

7) What are the prospects from here on for the 3D printing/bioprinting industry? How is it going to evolve in future? 

Overall, according to Roots Analysis, the commercial potential value of 3D printed products is estimated to reach US$615 million by 2024. This is subsequently expected to rise to US$10 billion by 2030. Beyond 2030, 3D printed organs can become mainstream while other applications will see similar growth. To put it short, the potential of this technology is limitless!

8) What is this new 4D Bioprinting technology about?
While 3D bioprinting has been created and developed only in recent times, we realise that 3D is still not the limit. We discovered that we can now add one more dimension towards bioprinting which rides on the natural phenomenon of the cells’ ability to self-organise autonomously without any external intervention. Simply put, self-assembly is the 4th dimension of tissue engineering.

What is extremely interesting is the fact that self-assembly is a universal property in living organisms, so what we are doing is basically harnessing nature’s power to self-organise. This natural ability of self-assembly will help to solve one of the major challenges that we face in tissue engineering. We are now able to regenerate human tissues by simply injecting tiny components into the body, which will then self-assemble into larger and compatible scaffolds at an injury site. In other words, there is no longer a need for a major surgery for this purpose.

To sum it up, we are stepping into an exciting 4D era in tissue engineering!

9) Could you tell us more about the new facilities at Singapore Centre for 3D Printing (SC3DP). What are your expectations from it and its implications for Singapore?

At the Singapore Centre for 3D Printing (SC3DP), we aspire to position Singapore as a world leader in 3D printing. In saying that, we mean that we want to achieve significant breakthroughs and groundbreaking innovations in the area of 3D printing that can have notable impact upon the world. Being housed in the Nanyang Technological University, and supported by the National Research Foundation’s Medium Sized Centre Programme, SC3DP has adopted the following focal points in our research and development work which are of major importance to Singapore: (1) Aerospace and Defence, (2) Building and Construction, (3) Marine and Offshore (4) Future of Manufacturing. In addition to the four vertical pillars mentioned above, we are looking into expanding our capabilities into the 5th pillar – Bio- and Food Printing.

In addition to our existing facilities, we will be bringing in state of the art equipment for large scale printing. These equipment will be used for printing prototypes and actual parts for industrial sectors. The Centre will continue to expand by attracting and nurturing leading researchers who will work closely with industries to deliver novel and practical solutions, impacting upon Singapore economically and socially. Ultimately, the aim is to disrupt existing processes and create improved products which are of significant importance within and beyond our country. Indeed, this game-changing technology has immense potential to transform our lives!

Professor Chua Chee Kai was speaking to aims to showcase innovations in the biotech and healthcare industry by bringing together academicians, biotech startups and pharma/industry in a common platform.

Posted By:

An Interview with Professor Fred Kramer
11 May 2015

Select Biosciences South East Asia recently interviewed Professor Fred Kramer from Rutgers University.

Professor Kramer is a member of the Department of Microbiology, Biochemistry, and Molecular Genetics at Rutgers University. After receiving a doctorate from the Rockefeller University, he was a member of the faculty of Columbia University for 17 years, and then moved his laboratory to the Public Health Research Institute, where he has carried out research with his colleagues for the past 29 years.

Select Bio SEA: After your undergraduate studies in Zoology, you completed a Ph.D. with Vincent Allfrey at The Rockefeller University. How did this experience influence your future research interests?

Professor Kramer: I set out to become a developmental biologist, and I tackled the problem of how maternal messenger RNAs are stored in frog oocytes for use after fertilization. This led to the development of in vitro assays that assessed the amount of stored messenger RNAs. As a postdoctoral fellow at Columbia, I continued working on in vitro assays that probed the mechanism of exponential replication of RNA by bacteriophage replicases, and that led to in vitro selection experiments in which RNA populations evolved in response to the presence of inhibitors of replication. Before long, the nucleic acid molecules themselves became my “experimental animals,” and the generation of new nucleic acid molecules whose structure and function could be designed for useful purposes became my passion.

Select Bio SEA: Your lab has a long history of exploring nucleic acid structure. Can you describe some of the projects you have worked on over the years and some of the experimental techniques you have developed?

Professor Kramer: Here are some highlights: (1) in 1989 we introduced the use of intercalating dyes to follow the exponential amplification of nucleic acids in real time, and we noted that the time that it takes to synthesis a particular amount of nucleic acid is inversely proportional to the logarithm of the number of template nucleic acids originally present in an assay (this approach is the basis of real-time PCR assays); (2) in parallel with Fred Sanger’s laboratory, we developed the chain-terminating method of nucleic acid sequence analysis, and we introduced the use of inosine as a means of preventing the formation of structures that obscure the sequencing results during electrophoresis; (3) we developed extremely sensitive clinical assays based on bifunctional recombinant RNAs that serve as probes, and that are then exponentially amplified by incubation with Q-beta replicase to indicate the amount of target present; (4) we invented molecular beacons, which are fluorescently labelled hybridization probes that are dark when free in solution, but that become brightly fluorescent in a preselected colour when they hybridize to target amplicons in PCR assays; and (5) we introduced the use non-FRET label pairs that interact by contact quenching, thereby enabling many different probes to be used simultaneously in highly multiplex clinical diagnostic assays.

Select Bio SEA: Your current research involves quantitation of extremely rare mutations associated with cancer. Can you tell us more about SuperSelective PCR Primers and how these are used in your research? 

Professor Kramer: SuperSelective PCR primers are designed to initiate the amplification of a mutant sequence, while ignoring the corresponding wild-type sequence, even if the difference between the mutant and the wild type is only a single-nucleotide polymorphism. Two principles underlie the extraordinary selectivity and specificity of these primers: (1) thermodynamically, due to the extremely short hybrids that they form, the perfectly complementary hybrids formed by the primer with the mutant target sequence are considerably more abundant than the mismatched hybrids formed by the primer with the wild-type target sequence; and (2) because these short hybrids only last for less than one second before they fall apart, and because the mismatched wild-type hybrids persist for far less time than the perfectly complementary mutant hybrids, the more abundant mutant hybrids have a much higher chance of binding to a DNA polymerase before they fall apart than do the mismatched wild-type hybrids that fall apart rapidly. Consequently, the probability of generating amplicons from wild-type sequences is so low that as few as 10 mutant target molecules can be quantitated by their threshold cycle values even though they are present in a sample containing 1,000,000 wild-type target molecules.

Select Bio SEA: How important do you see liquid biopsies becoming in guiding individual patient’s therapy?

Professor Kramer: Cancer cells, no matter where they occur in the body, rapidly reproduce, and also rapidly die by apoptosis and necrosis, and the genomic DNA of the dead cells is fragmented and ends up in blood plasma, where those fragments persist for an hour or two. A blood sample is far less intrusive than, for example, a liver biopsy or a lung biopsy. An analysis of the mutant DNA fragments present in a blood plasma sample can provide useful individualized information concerning cancer diagnosis, prognosis, and therapy. Moreover, blood samples can be taken relatively frequently, enabling therapy to be adjusted in accordance with an individual’s particular medical situation. 
The challenge in using liquid biopsies is that the mutant DNA fragments from the cancer cells are far less abundant that the DNA fragments from normal cells, and that is why we are developing SuperSelective PCR primers. The hope is that the combination of extremely selective multiplex assays for cancer-related mutations, combined with the relative ease of taking frequent blood samples, will convert cancer from often being a fatal disease, into a chronic disease in which an individual’s treatment can be adjusted in response to the early detection of relevant mutations.

Select Bio SEA: What do you feel to be your greatest achievement to date?

Professor Kramer: Our laboratory developed a rapid PCR assay that utilizes five differently coloured molecular beacons for the detection of the bacteria that cause tuberculosis, while simultaneously indicating whether the patient is likely to be infected with multidrug-resistant bacteria, necessitating a more aggressive treatment. This assay, commercialized by Cepheid, is now being used throughout the world, and is making significant inroads in combatting this disease, which is the most wide-spread infection on earth.

Select Bio SEA: What other research would you like to engage in the future? Any other projects planned? 

Professor Kramer: We have developed color-coded molecular beacons that potentially enable as many as 35 different rare mutant sequences to be quantitated in a single digital PCR assay, even though the detection device can only distinguish seven differently coloured fluorescence signals.

Select Biosciences South East Asia are extremely pleased to have Professor Kramer as our opening Keynote Speaker at the 6th Annual Advances in qPCR and dPCR, taking place on the 21-22 May, at the Hotel Fort Canning, Singapore. 

For further information please visit Advances in qPCR and dPCR

Posted By: Paul Raggett

GESIM & Bioprinter - SELECTBIO Berlin Conference review
24 Mar 2015

Whilst at the SELECTBIO Berlin conference I got a chance to explore some of the stalls. I found Dr Hendrik Fiehn from GESIM, and spoke to him about some of his products.

They have designed a 3d printer able to use up to 3 different biocompatible pasty materials, allowing for the production significantly more complex products.
The bioscaffolder can allow hydrogels, bone cements and in many cases cells to be merged into the building materials, or simply pipet cells on 3d structures using nano plotting equipment.

The machine could be used to produce bio-scaffold structure, that with biodegradable in vitro pastes, could lead the way in a host of novel treatments and therapies in medicine.

But the technology doesn’t only have clinical applications. The bioscaffolder can also be used by researchers working on artificial tissues. Working 3 dimensions vastly increases the opportunities for researchers; and it can be a major improvement on the small 2 dimension constraints of a petri dish. Dr Fiehn says the next step is artificial organs, but its a huge step to take so I won’t be getting too over-excited just yet!

They are also producing non contact microarray nano-plotters, 2d microarrays on flat surfaces. The lack of contact means the nozzle doesn’t touch the surface of the recipient experimental material. This can increase the speed of action, and the efficiency with which the microarray can be performed. The GESIM products certainly seem interesting, and like they’ll have some fantastic practical and experimental benefits in the lab!

Posted By: Charlie Haynes

SELECTBIO Microarray Tech Conference: An interview with Rastislav Levicky
16 Mar 2015

Rastislav Levicky is the Donald F Othermer associate professor at the NYU school of chemical and biomolecular engineering. He will be a keynote speaker at the conference, and gave me a brief insight into what is coming up tomorrow:

What do you do, and what are the main areas of research for your group?

I am a chemical engineer with research interests in behavior of bio-polymers on surfaces and at interfaces. It is this interest that brought us 15 years or so ago to work on topics relevant to DNA microarrays, which combine biological polymers with a rich diversity of interfacial problems. My group presently studies both basic and applied aspects of surfaces modified with DNA, and is also involved with developing nanoliter sampling methodologies and techniques of processing nucleic acid samples for analysis by microarrays or sequencing.

What will your talk focus on?

I will provide an overview of the physical chemistry/basic science aspects of DNA microarrays, covering some of our own work as well as that of others. It is meant to be a selective review of DNA microarray topics of interest from a surface engineer's or physical scientist's perspective. I will also discuss ways we believe DNA microarrays could be improved, primarily focusing on ways to simplify their application.

>- Why is your research important? What could it lead to?
A lot of our work is motivated simply by natural curiosity to understand how DNA behaves in the highly crowded conditions encountered at interfaces and on microarrays. We also strive to apply this basic understanding to the design of improved diagnostic technologies. One topic we have been exploring are benefits of nonionic DNA analogues called morpholinos, instead of DNA, for making of microarrays. I will discuss some of that work as well.

>- What are you most looking forward to at the conference?

This will be my first time at a SELECTBIO event but I am looking forward to learning from the other talks - and Berlin is a great venue to visit!

The SELECTBIO microarray conference will deliver an insight into the latest developments in clinical uses of microarrays, including pre-implantation diagnosis, pre- & post-natal chromosomal analysis, and the clinical utility of gene expression signatures. Those at the conference will hear from leading international speakers about novel technology developments being carried out in this field.
The conference will be co-located with Biodetection & Biosensors, Point-of-Care Diagnostics and Lab-on-a-Chip. Registered delegates will have unrestricted access to all co-located meetings ensuring a comprehensive learning and sharing experience as well as being financially beneficial for attendees.

Posted By: Charlie Haynes

Interviews with Sam Sia and John Connor - Point of Care Diagnostics 2015
16 Mar 2015

SELECTBIO point of care diagnostics conference 2015 preview

The SELECTBIO point of care diagnostics conference is only a few days away. In preparation for this I caught up with 2 of the fantastic speakers lined up. John H. Connor (JC) is an associate professor of microbiology at Boston University and a virologist by training. He spends his time identifying novel viral molecules and trying to improve current viral diagnostics. Samuel Sia (SS) is an associate professor of biomedical engineering at Columbia University, and his focus is on the use of microfluidics for global health diagnostics and for 3D tissue biology. T

So what is it that you do? 

SS: Our goal is to miniaturize complex lab-based blood tests into a format available to everyone - at the upcoming conference i’ll be talking about our work on smartphone-based blood tests

JC: My talk with is on an interdisciplinary viral diagnostic project, thats I’ve been collaborating with Selim Ünlü with from the BU engineering department. We want to make diagnostics both better and easier! We are using reflective light to identify and classify viruses, lassa, Ebola and others with multiple tests 

Why are point of care diagnostics so important?

SS: In a global health setting, healthcare workers can go to remote areas to diagnose and treat patients.  In Europe and U.S., these tests can fundamentally transform the healthcare system by enpowering patients and consumers to monitor their own health.
JC: There is a major deficiency of portable accurate point of care diagnostic testing devices. We want to build a tool that is mobile, simple, quick and can be used by anyone. 
This is bringing together a lot of developments, and we are seeing a high level of sensitivity as well as data collection, sending data to researching epidemiologists in real time. This data can allow epidemiologists to notice patterns begin to emerge, and quickly respond to major health crisis'. 

Have you been to a SELECTBIO event before?

SS: I've spoken at SelectBio conferences in the past and have enjoyed the meetings.  

JC: I've never been to a SELECTBIO event before, but I'm excited to come along. The international perspective, and the opportunity to interact with my European colleagues will be a great resource to help address the challenges we all have. It might be meeting resources in limited settings, how people approach the technology, and how to develop a technology that is robust and capable of meeting our needs. 

SS: I am particularly looking forwards to meeting new people with new ideas.

This is the 3rd annual Point of Care Diagnostics conference, and it will be co-located with Biodetection & Biosensors, Microarray Technology and Lab-on-a-Chip. Registered delegates will have unrestricted access to all co-located meetings ensuring a comprehensive learning and sharing experience as well as being financially beneficial for attendees.

Be sure to keep up with the goings on at the conference with the #POCD2015 hashtag!

Posted By: Charlie Haynes

Update on Lab-on-a-Chip & Microfluidics, 17th and 18th March 2015, Berlin Germany
10 Mar 2015

The SELECTBIO lab on a chip conference is only next week. Soon leaders from both industry and academia will be jetting off to Berlin, taking advantage of a fantastic opportunity to network with like minded individuals, and discussed shared challenges. Labs-On-Chips from a variety of contexts will be explored; from the enhancement of lab research, to taking diagnostics to the point of need. I caught up with a few of the speakers to get a sneak-preview of what’s coming up.

Roland Zengerle from the University of Freiburg is researching microfluidics, aiming to improve the efficiency of both life sciences diagnostics and therapy. He’s going to be speaking twice at the conference next week.

"In my first talk I will present the LabDisk platform which enables molecular diagnostics at the point-of care with real world samples. The light weight platform employs centrifugation for assay miniaturization and automation. It enables screening for infectious diseases from samples to result currently within approx. 2 hours in a fully automated fashion. In the future we expect that this will be possible in 30 minutes.

In my second talk I will present a new instrument to select, separate and print individual single cells and bacteria encapsulated within picoliter droplets onto any surface you might think of. We expect this to be an enabler for the development of clonal cell lines and single cell genomics."

He expects their LabDisk platform to lead to faster diagnostics at the point-of-care, enhancing the health situation of patients not only in developed countries but also in the developing countries.

"I have spoken at several SELECTBIO conferences in the past and I like the atmosphere. It’s a good place to meet not only other scientists but also professionals from industry. I expect fruitful discussions and hopefully new collaboration partners."

Dino Di Carlo chatted to us earlier this year. He said that "it has been clear over the last decade that microfluidics can contribute to the molecular analysis of cells, automating and speeding up reactions and separations, and performing analyses in formats that are portable. Molecular analyses will continue to be important in diagnostics as they can enable readouts of root causes of diseases that have a small number of “driving” pathways that are aberrant."

He describes how challenges now facing scientists revolve around integrating component to address needs in a simple, low cost and robust manner.

The conference in Berlin next week should be a fantastic opportunity of scientists, technologists and engineers to discuss and collaborate ideas as to just how these challenges can be met most effectively.

Posted By: Charlie Haynes

An Interview with Dino Di Carlo
21 Jan 2015

Dr Dino Di Carlo is speaking at the forthcoming Lab-on-a-Chip & Microfluidics conference that is being held in Berlin on the 17th and 18th March 2015.  We caught up with him earlier this month:

SELECTBIO: What are some of the key points concerning recent advances in microfluidics you plan to cover during your keynote speech?

Dino: It has been clear over the last decade that microfluidics can contribute to molecular analysis of cells, automating and speeding up reactions and separations, and performing analyses in formats that are portable. Molecular analyses will continue to be important in diagnostics as they can enable readouts of root causes of diseases that have a small number of “driving” pathways that are aberrant. I will discuss recent work on using microtechnologies to quantify and automate the analysis of physical properties of cells. These types of measurements can be rapid, cost-effective, and integrate many molecular changes into functional phenotypic changes that are indicative of disease. We feel there are significant opportunities in diagnostics and drug discovery that make use of physical biomarkers of cells. I will discuss some of the technologies we have developed and application areas we are pursuing.

SELECTBIO: What do you feel are the current challenges in microfluidics and Lab-on-a-Chip technologies?

Dino: I think we now have a good understanding of fundamental operations that can be performed in microfluidic formats and many of the challenges now revolve around integrating components to address needs in the lowest cost, simplest, and robust manner.

SELECTBIO: Tell us more about the intersection of biology and engineering at the micro and nanoscale; what makes this area so exciting?

Dino: Micro & nanotechnologies we can fabricate intrinsically match the scales of cells and molecules. It is extremely exciting that we can now interface with biology at its scale. Further automation of biological discovery using miniaturization and arraying is also powerful and I think will enable exponential increases in understanding of biological systems.

SELECTBIO: What sparked your interest in microfluidics and Lab-on-a-Chip; i.e., how did you get started in the field?

Dino: I was first interested in genetic engineering and prior to my undergraduate education I was under the impression that scientists had cracked biology and could rationally “engineer” cell behaviour. It turns out this is only possible in a limited number of cases, although new tools for genome editing are being developed that are extremely exciting. I came to the realization that we need to accelerate the rate of biological discovery for true engineering of cellular systems to be possible and microfluidics technology was a great enabler for such a goal.

SELECTBIO: What are some of the more interesting findings that have come about as a result of your investigations using microfluidics and Lab-on-a-Chip?

Dino: My investigations introduced the effects of fluid momentum (inertia) as a useful physical tool to manipulate particles, cells, and fluids in microfluidic systems. Using these passive forces one can, for example, perform sample preparation and analysis steps on cells in a controlled manner and at high rates.

SELECTBIO: What are some of the innovations you think will occur in the area of microfluidics and Lab-on-a-Chip methodologies in the future? 

Dino: Compartmentalization of samples into small (picoliter or smaller) volumes has been a useful feature for a variety of molecular and cellular analyses. I envision that we will see other clever assays that rely on compartmentalization for diagnostics. I also see that microfluidic logic (i.e. control of microfluidic operations with logic gates that rely on flow of fluids not electrons) will see a revival and may open up future automation in low cost formats. I think 3D printing will play an increasingly important role in microfluidic porotyping as well.

Posted By: Dino Di Carlo

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