Full Professor, Dublin City University, Ireland
Title: The Microfluidic Lab-on-a-Disc Platform – An Efficient Environment Supporting Rapid Application Development for Decentralised Testing of Biosamples
Biography: Jens Ducrée
The successful commercialisation of microfluidics-enabled solutions in the context of the life sciences is typically led by significant techno-economical challenges on performance, reliability and cost of development and manufacture. With the example of the centrifugal microfluidic “Lab-on-a-Disc” technology, this paper outlines a platform-based approach for expediting and de-risking the route from proof-of-concepts to high technology readiness levels as adopted from mature industries. Rather than starting from scratch, new applications are flexibly configured from a geometrically parametrised design library of Laboratory Unit Operations, e.g. for particle separation, metering and mixing, that are interconnected by flow control elements such as valves for comprehensive sample-to-answer automation of common (bio-)assay protocols, e.g. for small molecules, proteins / antibodies, nucleic acids and bioparticles such as cells. The development kit encompasses experimental and simulation tools to validate functional robustness, guidelines for design and scale-up of manufacture, and standard procedures for system- and component-level characterisation. The modular strategy also offers opportunity towards accelerating regulatory processes and for coordinating industrial supply chains.