Nov 18, 2021
Microfluidics driving innovation
Tiny samples in the smallest of spaces: Microfluidics make so much possible that was previously unthinkable - especially in medical technology. For example, mobile mini laboratories that fit on the service of a credit card. The pandemic showed us all how indispensable technology is. Mini labs, also known as ‘labs on a chip’, make a contribution towards managing the myriad PCR, antigen and antibody tests. The PLEXIGLAS® and EUROPLEX® films by Röhm play an important role here. A layer of foil needs to seal the mini-lab chips.
Microfluidics deals with the behavior, control and manipulation of tiny fluid volumes in small spaces in fine capillaries, just micrometers in size. Application areas include the fields of medicine, pharmacology, biology and many other technical sectors.
“Microfluidics is an especially fascinating area of application for our specialized films,” says Marc, Product Manager at Röhm. The films are suitable for use in microfluidics for a number of reasons. They are resistant to acids and bases, as well as against numerous solvents such as acetone and ethanol. This means they can be sterilized. The films also withstand high temperatures. “This is important because samples, for example for PCR tests, are heated to 100 degrees Celsius multiple times within a short period and then cooled down again in order to duplicate the sample material,” he explains.
The market demand for components in decentralized diagnostics is on the rise. The mini labs, for example, enable ‘point of care’ diagnostics, immediate diagnostics close to the patient. Those involved do not necessarily have to be brought to the clinic, and the samples do not have to be transported to the lab (which takes time). There is also no need for manual preparation. Instead, mobile devices analyze the material, and once thirty to sixty minutes have passed, the results are available. All steps of the analysis can be combined into one device and run efficiently on a very small surface.
New materials and methods significantly improve microfluidics. Röhm is also continuing to develop the film products. The latest product innovation is a multilayer film through which the analysis chips can be sealed at a lower temperature. The advantage is that laboratory components are protected and the sealing process is accelerated. As Marc, the Product Manager, says: “Röhm not only produces specialized films, it also provides solutions. “All from a single source and close to the technological progress of microfluidics.”
Find more infos on PLEXIGLAS® and EUROPLEX® films for Lab-on-a-Chip applications here:
Polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA) products from Röhm are sold on the European, Asian, African and Australian continent under the registered trademarks PLEXIGLAS® and PLEXIMID®, in the Americas under the registered trademarks ACRYLITE® and ACRYMID®. EUROPLEX® is a registered or filed trademark of Röhm GmbH, Darmstadt, Germany.
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