Courses » Workshop 12

Prof. Jacqueline Linnes, Purdue University, USA
Dr. Yuksel Temiz, IBM Research, Switzerland
Dr. Konstantinos Mitsakakis, University of Freiburg - IMTEK, Germany
Prof. Fernando Benito Lopez, Universidad del País Vasco, Spain

Workshop Description:
Diagnostics are ubiquitous in healthcare because they support prevention, diagnosis and treatment of diseases. Point-of-care (POC) diagnostics are particularly important for identifying diseases near patients and screening populations quickly, and in many settings and scenarios outside of centralized healthcare infrastructures. There are already rapid diagnostics tests available to address some of the global health challenges, but they have limitations in terms of sensitivity, reliability, and integration of advanced functions. Microfluidics have the potential to revolutionize this by providing more sensitive, low-cost, rapid and connected diagnostics at the POC.

This workshop will give a general overview on microfluidic technologies developed for POC diagnostics and discuss strategies for the integration of functional materials. Particularly, three main microfluidic technologies will be discussed: 1- paperfluidics, 2- capillary-driven microfluidics, and 3- centrifugal microfluidics, and finally different type of functional materials and their integration in microfluidics devices will be covered in-depth. The attendees will be introduced to design and fabrication of portable microfluidic systems, different strategies for fluid control, integration and long-term storage of reagents and functional materials, and specific applications related to the global health.

Overview of Material to Be Covered and What Attendees Can Expect to Take Away From the Workshop:
This workshop part contains 4 lectures:
  1. Paperfluidics (Prof. Linnes): The first lecture will first provide an overview of key paperfluidic concepts, applications and design constraints. Case studies will be used to demonstrate the broad applicability of paperfluidic devices in global health. Existing and emerging applications using chemical, protein, and nucleic acid based technologies will be discussed along with user-centered design of these devices to increase usability in resource-limited settings and global health.
  2. Capillary microfluidics (Dr. Temiz): The second lecture will discuss techniques developed to generate flows of liquids in closed microchannels without using external pumps and control and monitor them from smartphone. Design and fabrication of microfluidic chips using materials and processes compatible with high-volume manufacturing will be discussed. The lecture will also cover some of the techniques IBM Research team developed for efficient integration of reagents to microfluidics chips towards "sample-in-result-out" detection. Specific application examples related to global health will include one-step immunoassays and enzymatic assays.
  3. Centrifugal microfluidics (Dr. Mitsakakis): The third lecture will first provide some overview on centrifugal microfluidics. Some selected case study scenarios will be presented in order to demonstrate the broad applicability of centrifugal microfluidics in the field of global health. Tropical diseases, respiratory tract infections, and diagnostics for vector disease carriers under a One Health approach will be discussed. Technologically, the lecture will focus on protein and nucleic acid analysis as well as sample preparation based on the centrifugal microfluidics. The importance of emerging trends in diagnostics such as the use of non-invasive saliva testing, its challenges and advantages experienced with centrifugal microfluidics will also be covered.
  4. Integration of functional materials (Prof. Benito): The fourth lecture will present different type of functional materials and their integration in microfluidics devices to provide with new functionalities to microfluidic platforms. Materials such as polymer gels can be used as building blocks within microfluidic devices to produce reagent storage arrays, sensors and microvalves or micropumps for fluid manipulation and control. The integration of chemo/biosensors, actuators and reagents for long term storage in the microchannels of a microfluidic device, using functional materials, has several technological advantages compared to bench-based technology. For example, the lecture will discuss the reduction of the volume that is needed to monitor certain analytes, the minimization of cross-contamination from the surrounding environment, the continuous flow operation, the long life storage and the precise control of the sensor or the actuator on the devices.
Who Should Attend:
The workshop is intended for a broad audience, ranging from PhD and postdoctoral researchers of the engineering and analytical fields, to application specialists, representatives of clinical/end-user community as well as industrial stakeholders. The presentations will be held in an easy-to-comprehend language, avoiding technical terminology.

Participants Will Need the Following:
No special requirements.