- Micronit develops smart chips that are used in testing equipment in laboratories and hospitals all over the world
- These chips are used to determine whether someone is a carrier of the COVID-19 virus
- Micronit’s chips are also indispensable for anticipating the development of the virus and creating a vaccine
Micronit, a company from Enschede, supplies companies that produce machines that do analyses and tests on numerous samples. The company develops so-called “microfluidic chips” that are used in laboratories and hospitals globally. These chips are used in cancer research, for example, but more recently for research into the COVID-19 virus, too. The company has ramped up production to meet the high demand. The demand for Micronit’s microfluidic chips has increased drastically because of the many tests that are conducted worldwide to determine if a patient is infected with the coronavirus. Willy-An Silvius, Marketing Communications Specialist at Micronit, says that the company will continue to bear its responsibility during the crisis, both nationally and internationally. “We are now mainly focused on taking care of our customers so that tests will remain sufficiently available, and large-scale testing can be done worldwide. Customers are also increasing their stock to deal with that demand, which means that it is even busier for us.” The number of employees in the cleanroom has, therefore, temporarily increased.
Micronit chips are not only used to test whether someone has corona, but they are also crucial in investigating the origin and course of the virus. The company is also committed to developing rapid tests via the “Viralert” platform.
How exactly does such an analysis work? Blood or mucus is taken from a patient and applied to a chip after chemical processing. This chip is placed in a machine to perform an analysis. The virus contains RNA, which is similar to DNA. RNA and DNA are made up of four unique building blocks. The sequence of these building blocks determines the genetic code. The exact sequence of the building blocks is determined bit by bit in the microfluidic chips, by using a highly sensitive microscope. This is also referred to as “sequencing”. In this way, the molecular structure of the virus is mapped out.
Micronit has already grown enormously as a company, and this growth has unabatedly continued even during the corona crisis. “We are working on new construction plans because we are expecting an increase in our production. Diagnostics will become faster, more accurate and more precise in the future, and that is something these microfluidic chips can provide very well.”