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The 3 cent microfluidics chip

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;http://www.pnas.org/cgi/doi/10.1073/pnas.0810903105 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

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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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;http://www.pnas.org/cgi/doi/10.1073/pnas.0810903105 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,;http://gmwgroup.harvard.edu/people_biography.html 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,;http://www.stanford.edu/group/Zarelab/about.html 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...

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