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Biochip tracks molecular signals

  November 10/17, 2008
Build a biochip that rapidly injects and captures tiny amounts of chemicals and you have a tool for unlocking medical and biological mysteries.

The "chemistrode" is the biochemical equivalent of an electrode; it records molecular signals from microscopic spaces at short time intervals. A double chemistrode has captured chemical signals that are 15 thousandths of a millimeter apart and sampled as frequently as two thirds of a second.

The biochip injects, then captures tiny plugs of fluids. Injected plugs stimulate biological samples. Captured plugs are analyzed to determine the changing flow of chemicals coming from biological samples.

The biochip promises to make it easier to study the subtle biochemical flows involved in life's processes.

Research paper:
The Chemistrode: A Droplet-based Microfluidic Device for Stimulation and Recording with High Temporal, Spatial, and Chemical Resolution
Proceedings of the National Academy Of Sciences, November 4, 2008

Researchers' homepages:
Ismagilov Group
Andrey Kuznetsov
Louis Philipson

Related stories and briefs:
Coated nanotubes make biosensors -- related research
Tiny transistors sniff chemicals -- related research

Back to TRN November 10/17, 2008

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