Lab-on-a-Chip workgroup, Thomas Johann Seebeck Department of Electronics (TJS ELIN), Tallinn University of Technology, Estonia
Overview of Lab-on-a-Chip
Lab-on-a-Chip (LoC) technology focuses on implementing laboratory functions in a single integrated fluidic circuit of a few square millimeters or centimeters. LoC systems utilize microfluidics for automated liquid handling, and typically work with low fluid volumes down to nanoliters or even picoliters. The typically quoted advantages of LoC technology in comparison with pre-existing laboratory instrumentation are 1) lower fluid volumes and thus lower reagent costs, 2) faster analyses, 3) compactness, 4) lower fabrication costs. In the context of in vitro diagnostics (IVD), LoC introduced a new paradigm: complex rapid diagnostic tests that can be administered at home and whose performance metrics are on par with clinical diagnostics. LoC devices developed from and are typically considered a subset of MEMS (micro-electro-mechanical systems), and due to the level of integration, commonly rely on integrated microelectronic sensors and actuators.
Lab-on-a-Chip research and development at TJS ELIN
At TJS ELIN, the Lab-on-a-Chip workgroup focuses on the research and development of electronic sensors and actuators for Lab-on-a-Chip devices. In the field of LoC biosensors, we build on the Department's extensive history with impedance-based sensors, going back to the 1980s. Research focuses on impedimetric and capacitive biosensors, including measurement methodology and signal processing as well as the development of related hardware and software prototypes. LoC sensor development primarily focuses on the detection of protein biomarkers, but cell counting as well as DNA detection are also part of the research portfolio. On the actuator side, work focuses on integrated electronic temperature regulation and sample preparation.
Lab-on-a-Chip teaching and thesis supervision at TJS ELIN
For more information, please refer to the teaching link in the sidebar.
For master students, we offer the introductory course IEE1820 - Lab-on-a-Chip, which is an overview of the basics of the field, focused on practical applications. Thesis topics related to LoC are listed on the Departmental webpage.
The LoC workgroup at TJS ELIN has several industrial and academic partners in Estonia and abroad. Academic partners include but are not limited to the University of Tartu, Budapest University of Technology and Economics, ELIKO OÜ. Industrial partners include but are not limited to Selfdiagnostics Deutschland GmbH, Protobios OÜ. Collaborative projects are listed on the Projects page.