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YSTEMS INTEGRATION shows efficiency improvements through automation in microfluidics30.06.2014 - (idw) IVAM Fachverband für Mikrotechnik
Around 60 international experts on microfluidics took the opportunity to network and share the latest trends at IVAMs established symposium YSTEMS INTEGRATION. Held on June 17, 2014 in Almelo, the Netherlands and hosted by WWINN BV, its key topic was Automation in the production and application of microfluidic devices in chemistry and biology.
Microfluidic components are already in use in analytics, medical diagnostics or chemical manufacturing with great success. Even so, microfluidic hardware always requires automated control technology. In his keynote Gerard Huiberts of WWINN was able to impressively illustrate his robots capabilities at the manufacture of microtechnological components: Even most complex production stages are entirely automated and can be achieved with great cost-effectiveness.
Automation is essential not only in manufacture, but also in the application of microfluidic components. Richard Bijlard of Invenios (USA) introduced the integration of sensors and actuators on a microfluidic chip and was backed by Dr. Hans van den Vlekkert of LioniX (NL) who focused on optical sensors. As Clemens Kremer of microfluidic ChipShop (DE) summarized: Things are moving from chip-in-a-lab to lab-on-a-chip.
Professor Volker Hessel of Eindhoven UT illustrated a host of applications from chemistry that would not be possible without microfluidic components. The fact that these components then need to be integrated into larger systems presents another challenge for automation engineering. Ronny vant Oever of micronit microfluidics (NL) argued in favor of standardizing the micro-macro-interface.
The event was rounded out by Professor Han Gardeniers with a tour of Enschedes renowned MESA+ Institute. Professor Gardeniers pointed out the advantages of microfluidic systems for analysis especially of very small sample sizes e.g. in forensics.
YSTEMS INTEGRATION is an annual conference focused on the processing and integration of micro-components. Next year, YSTEMS INTEGRATION will be held at VTT, Finlands largest research facility, and will focus on 3D printing.
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