The 3 cent microfluidics chip

Harvard chemists craft an inexpensive paper analytic device that could improve health care in developing nations

Bob Grant
Bob Grant

Bob Grant is Editor in Chief of The Scientist, where he started in 2007 as a Staff Writer.

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Dec 7, 2008
Chemists have created a device -- using little more than paper and sticky tape -- that can precisely separate liquids for further medical or environmental analysis. The scientists write in a __Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences__ linkurl:paper; published today that they made their small, lightweight microfluidics chips for about $0.03 a piece. Similar "lab-on-a-chip" devices made of glass and polymers can cost hundreds of dollars a piece."We are interested in providing technology for the third world," linkurl:George Whitesides,; Harvard chemist and senior author on the __PNAS__ paper, told __The Scientist__. His group hopes to get the devices into health clinics and environmental monitoring facilities in developing nations to improve health care, water analysis, and drug development.linkurl:Richard Zare,; the chair of Stanford University's chemistry department, told __The Scientist__ that while the chip made by Whitesides and his colleagues is significantly cheaper than similar microfluidics devices, it functions well, making...

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