11/24/2004

"Lab-on-a-Chip" devices for everyone
Microfluidic Construction!Kit attracts users' interest

The idea to shrink a full-size lab onto a tiny chip is no longer a mere vision: meanwhile, first diagnostic and analytical lab-on-a-chip (LOC) devices are commercially available. However, up to now the technological and economic risks involved with the development of such devices proved far too high for most companies. A novel modular design system – the microfluidic construction kit – considerably reduces these risks. Over the next few days, thinXXS GmbH (now thinXXS Microtechnology AG), Zweibrücken, will exhibit this LOC development kit at the ComPaMED in Düsseldorf, a trade show which is part of the renowned MEDICA fair.

"Several customers already work with the plastic modules of the construction!kit and are very interested in a joint biochip development", says project manager Holger Brüning. As the project, during which the construction!kit concept was realized, is coming to an end, thinXXS prepares to bring the system into the market fast.

The microfluidic construction kit is based on typical laboratory standards: the assembly platform has the size of a microplate, the chip modules that of a microscope slide. Up to four modules – e.g. for pumping, micromixing, chromatography, or with electrodes – may be combined with each other in one such platform. Special fluid connectors allow to flexibly interconnect the modules or to link them to outside apparatuses. "These interfaces were of great importantance to us since previous market solutions are far from satisfactory", explains Brüning. "The connectors may be removed at any time so that the microfluidic system can be easily reconfigured."

A recent market study by Frost & Sullivan sounds like a late substantiation of the project. For besides the excellent market opportunities offered by LOC devices it emphasizes all those questions to which the construction kit answers: the necessity to reduce high development costs; the tendency to integrate an increasing number of functions onto a chip; the growing use of plastics; and the advantages of microfluidic systems which are compatible with existing lab equipment.

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About thinXXS Microtechnology AG

thinXXS produces and develops microfluidic and micro-optic components and systems in plastics. Located in Zweibrücken, the company employs a workforce of about 30 people. thinXXS offers several microfluidic systems, their customization or integration into OEM products, as well as comprehensive contract services in product development and production. Among the markets, which profit from our high-tech solutions, are the life sciences, medical device technology, pharma, or automation.

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Your contact:

Christian Kirsch
Director Marketing
thinXXS Microtechnology AG
Amerikastr. 21
D-66482 Zweibrücken
Germany
Phone:  06332/80 02 32
Fax:      06332/80 02 22
kirsch@thinxxs.com