Labs and Microscopic Sensors
report examines the current state of biochips, organizes key issues
and puts them in context, and succinctly explains how the technology
Replacing vacuum tubes with computer chips enabled computers
to evolve from room-sized machines run by technicians to handheld
devices used by ordinary people. Replacing test tubes with tiny
channels promises to do the same for biology, chemistry and medicine.
The potential rewards including saving a large portion of
the hundreds of billions of dollars spent every year on medical
testing, drug development and genetics research, speeding tests
from hours or days to minutes or seconds, and enabling them to take
place in the field.
Major research thrusts include using DNA and proteins to
sense chemicals, enabling microscopic optics, making tiny channels
and devices like valves, and finding ways to mix, pump and manipulate
tiny amounts of fluids despite physics making this difficult at
such small scales.
Though all-purpose handheld biochip devices won't be practical
for decades, researchers have begun to build devices that perform
specific lab tests in the field. Embedded biochips could eventually
power sensors scattered around smart homes, battlefields and toxic
The report includes an executive summary, a list of 13 developments
to look for as these cutting-edge technologies take shape, and a
section of 25 researchers to watch, including links to their Web
pages. It also includes a quick tour of 41 recent developments and
a section of 32 in-depth news stories from TRN.
The in-depth news stories are organized into the following
categories: DNA-based sensors, other biological sensors, optical
sensors, microfluidic channels, microfluidic control, structural
manipulators, mechanical manipulators and optical manipulators.
Making the Future reports contain live links, and can
be read on a computer, printed and archived.
Buy the the Biochips
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How It Works:
stories, including 21 images
Table of Contents:
Anatomy of a biochip
What it all adds up to
Detecting with DNA
Egg Yolks and CDs
Getting a grip
By the force of light
Issues and wrinkles
Getting to the Tricorder
Pipes in the walls
How It Works
Pumping and mixing
Temperature and surfaces
In-Depth Story Categories
Other biological sensors
a look at all
available Making the Future reports.
View a four-page sample of the Making
the Future report (pdf).