SMT007 Magazine

SMT007-Nov2018

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16 SMT007 MAGAZINE I NOVEMBER 2018 Feature interview by I-Connect007 Editorial Team For this month's issue of SMT007 Magazine, we speak with Dr. Despina Moschou, lecturer at the University of Bath, as well as Kaspars Fricbergs, VP of global quality, and Tom Reilly, director of marketing and sales operations, of EMS firm Vexos Corp., to know more about the challenges and opportunities in medical elec- tronics design and assembly. Dr. Moschou speaks about designing and manufacturing her lab-on-a-chip device, while Fricbergs and Reilly discuss the regulatory requirements as well as supply chain issues when it comes to medical electronics manu- facturing. Stephen Las Marias: Tell us more about your- self, Despina, and your lab-on-a-chip project. Dr. Despina Moschou: I always start by introduc- ing people to what lab-on-a-chip is in general. Lab-on-a-chip is not my invention—I have to be very clear on that. Professor George White- sides from Harvard and Professor Andreas Manz first suggested it. They came up with this idea in the mid-1990s. The concept was minia- turizing a complete biomedical laboratory in a microchip. This vision is what we, the scien- tific community all over the world, have been trying to do for the past 20–30 years. Before I became involved in this field, my original background was purely electronics. I'm an electronics engineer, I graduated from Athens, and I have a Ph.D. in microelectron- ics. During my first post-doctoral research, I ran into the field of lab-on-a-chip—in partic- ular, microfluidic devices. Since then, I have been involved in that because the impact of this technology is enormous once it reaches everyday life. What does this technology do? Imagine if you could have the whole biochemical labora- tory on your hand. Wouldn't that be cool? And apart from being cool, let's assume we have a biomedical laboratory such as a health-care facility. What do you do when you want to identify a diagnosis? Either you or your doctor will take a sample—such as blood, urine, or any other kind of biological sample—and will take a bottle of it and ship it to a laboratory. The laboratory will do an analysis. It will take a few hours, days, or even weeks, and then you will receive the results. This is the current routine in health-care practice for all kinds of diseases, whether infectious, routine check - ing, or monitoring your pregnancy or cancer treatment. Wouldn't it be great if we could avoid all the delays? How different would it be if instead of taking things to the laboratory, we could bring the laboratory to the people who need it. A Look at Medical Electronics Design and Assembly Challenges

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