Because of the importance of these analysing techniques, research is done into the applicational possibilities for two lab-on-a-chip companies from Twente, through TechForFuture. UT spin-off Tide Microfluidics has developed a technology to produce customized ultrasound contrast agents, with which ultrasounds get up to 20 times more contrast. Saxion has contributed to the know-how about producing ‘fresh microbubbles’ for the contrast agent which allows it to be produced, on location, just shortly before the procedure.
Saxion has also performed research for Medimate (which has relaunched in the meantime). The company develops chips which allows for measuring the amounts of lithium in people’s blood. This is an important indicator for depressions. Medimate wanted to know whether their lab-on-a-chip technology could also measure other indicators in the blood. The research has resulted in new knowledge which allows them to take a next step in their development.
Another promising lab-on-a-chip project that was conducted by Saxion is their collaboration with the police, says Martin Bennink, Lecturer Nanotechnology. ‘We have done research on the development of a lab-on-a-chip which you are able to check whether the DNA contains any traces of evidence, on the crime scene. This method will only take around 10 to 15 minutes. Currently, all materials have to be send to the Dutch Forensic Institute. A lot of material turns out not be useful after research and is send back. With such a lab-on-a-chip you can already make a pre-selection and that saves you a lot of time. The project is still running and I expect a lot of new possibilities and applications in the future with the lab-on-a-chip technology in the forensic sector!’