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62 The PCB Magazine • February 2017 mapped. He postulated that the use of IoT-based devices linked to Smartphones or a handheld reader could revolutionise infectious disease mapping. He contrasted conventional lateral flow technology, such as that used in pregnan- cy detectors noting that microfluidics technol- ogy would require a much smaller sample size and optimised flow control to give much better quantitative results when used in a portable im- munodiagnostic microfluidic platform. Dr. Temiz then showed a fascinating video of a microfluidic system incorporating valve, re- agent mixing, flow splitters and capillary pumps but on a microscopic scale. Being based in Swit- zerland, Dr. Temiz couldn't resist explaining "Chip-olate," which is a high-throughput fab- rication and efficient chip singulation technol- ogy having closed microfluidic structures taking advantage of dry-film resists (DFRs) for efficient sealing of capillary systems. The outlook was shown as including microfluidic chips with au- tonomous capillary driven flow, integrated re- ceptors with controlled release of detection an- tibodies, assay validation and compact readers including Smartphone integration. Dr. Temiz closed with an explanation of microflow moni- toring with the use of integrated electrodes. Dr. Moschou then in- troduced Dr. Peter Hewkin, CEO of the Centre for Busi- ness Innovation (CfBI) whose organisation creates international collaborative communities and runs a consortium, MF-8, which brings together stakehold- ers in Microfluidics from across Europe and the USA. MF-8 members were invited to the workshop with the purpose of bringing together European academics working on PCB-based LoC devices, providing the PCB industry with information on lab-on-chip technology/potential/challeng- es and to promote synergies between academ- ics, PCB and the microfluidics industry amongst all interested stakeholders. Peter explained that microfluidics is about doing chemistry on a tiny scale and trying to emulate nature, in our bod- ies microfluidics is manifest in capillaries with their large surface area. It was noted that mi- crofluidics is a term covering feature sizes in the range of 10 -9 to 100 and a key feature is to use as little reagent as possible. Applications were identified as medical devices, drug deliv- ery, point of care diagnostics, genomic diagnos- tics, high throughput screening, environmental sensing and chemical synthesis. Hewkin went on to describe how applications could be lead to personalised medication whereby drugs could be tested on a cell, tissue or even organ on a chip simulating an individual's personalised re- sponse before applying the drug to the patient. The potential for such personalised medication would lead to a drastic reduction of unneces- sary or ineffective drug use and much quicker diagnostic and treatment regimes. For now, the focus is on medical uses, however the technol- ogy could also be beneficial in testing water, air, food and crops in a future connected world. The traditional model of table top or large chamber reactors in laboratories employing large numbers of skilled analytical staff could be effectively replaced with single use microflu- idics devices employed at the point of care. It was noted that workload of traditional testing laboratories is reducing by around 5% per year as diagnostics functions are becoming more dis- tributed and less centralised. Hewkin asked, "Is there a market?" This was answered with a resounding "Yes," supported by a series of charts showing growth in medi- cal markets with the USA leading the way. Cur- rent mass market applications were identified as pregnancy and blood glucose testing. There are obstacles to gaining approval from regulatory authorities for new devices, but once approval had been granted this gives a commercial ad- vantage as a barrier to competition. Hewkin explained that the microfluidics market is highly fragmented and showed many examples of real product examples including a sweat sensor and an electrochemical immu- noassay system. In concluding Hewkin high- lighted the opportunity to embed microfluidic functionality into electronic devices and vice- versa and left us with the knowledge that 40% of all microfluidic disposable systems already integrate some electronics content. Next, we heard from Prof. Lienhard Pagel, Professor for Microsystems at the Faculty of EIPC WORKSHOP ON PCB BIOMEMS Dr. Peter Hewkin

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