Features Partner Sites Information LinkXpress
Sign In
Advertise with Us
RANDOX LABORATORIES

Microfluidic Silicon Probe Accurately Stains Tissue Sections

By Labmedica International staff writers
Posted on 24 Jan 2012
Print article
Image: The probe consists of a silicon microfluidic head having two microchannels. Unlike an inkjet printer cartridge, the head reaspirates the liquid that it injects on a surface. This prevents spreading and accumulation of the liquid on the surface, which can lead to overexposure (Photo courtesy of IBM).
Image: The probe consists of a silicon microfluidic head having two microchannels. Unlike an inkjet printer cartridge, the head reaspirates the liquid that it injects on a surface. This prevents spreading and accumulation of the liquid on the surface, which can lead to overexposure (Photo courtesy of IBM).
A flexible, noncontact microfluidic probe made from silicon can help pathologists to investigate critical tissue samples for disease diagnostics.

The microfluidic probe can accurately stain tissue sections at the micrometer scale. It consists of a silicon microfluidic head having two microchannels. Unlike an inkjet printer cartridge, the head reaspirates the liquid that it injects on a surface. This prevents spreading and accumulation of the liquid on the surface, which can lead to overexposure.

Specifically for tissue section analysis, the probe can deliver an antibody very locally in a selected area of a tissue section with pinpoint accuracy. Since analysis can be done on spots and lines instead of on the entire tissue section, the tissue is better preserved for additional tests, if required. In addition, only a few picoliters of liquid containing antibodies are needed for each analysis spot.

IBM (Zurich, Switzerland) scientists developed the microfluidic probe, which fits to standard workflows in conventional pathology. In addition, it is compatible with current biochemical staining systems and resistant to a broad range of chemicals. The small size of the probe also enables easy viewing of the sample from above and below by the inverted microscope commonly used in clinical laboratories.

"We have developed a proof-of-concept technology, which I hope puts pathology on a modern roadmap—benefiting from the latest developments in silicon-based microfluidics," said Govind Kaigala, a scientist at IBM Research-Zurich. He added, "This new approach will enable pathologists to stain tissue samples with micrometer precision and easily perform multiple tissue stains on limited samples."

IBM scientists will continue to test and improve the microfluidic probe and potentially begin using it in laboratory environments in the next several months. In addition, the team plans to explore specific clinical applications, possibly with partners in the field of pathology. The microfluidic probe promises to support the work of pathologists and become a tool of choice for pharmaceutical research and diagnostics involving biological specimens.

Related Links:

IBM Research, Zurich



Print article

Channels

Clinical Chemistry

view channel

New Approach Improves Identification of Women at High Risk of Preeclampsia

A new meta-analysis examining 92 cohort studies involving over 25 million pregnancies has provided an unprecedented understanding of risk factors for preeclampsia—some risk factors being strong enough to warrant that a pregnant woman starts on prophylactic treatment with acetylsalicylic acid (ASA) when she has only one.... Read more

Genetic Tests

view channel

Patterns of MicroRNA Expression Distinguish Patients with Asthma and Allergic Rhinitis

Subsets of circulating micro RNAs (miRNAs) are uniquely expressed in asthmatic patients and in patients with allergic rhinitis (AR) and have potential for use as noninvasive biomarkers to diagnose and characterize these diseases. MicroRNAs are a class of about 20 nucleotides-long RNA fragments that block gene expression... Read more

Lab Tech.

view channel

Method Preserves Microfluidic Devices for HIV Monitoring in Developing Countries

Microfluidic devices with immunochemistry have broad applications in chemotherapy monitoring, transplant patient monitoring, and especially in monitoring the efficacy of antiretroviral therapy. Providing vital health care services to people in developing countries without reliable electricity, refrigeration and state-of-the-art... Read more

Industry News

view channel

R-Biopharm and Merck Partner on Companion Diagnostics

R-Biopharm AG (Darmstadt, Germany) and Merck KGaA (Darmstadt, Germany) have entered into an agreement that constitutes their first collaboration, which will initially focus on developing and launching companion diagnostics. Companion diagnostics play a central role in personalized medicine by helping to find specific... Read more
Copyright © 2000-2016 Globetech Media. All rights reserved.