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Examine DNA samples with MEMS

Posted: 17 Sep 2007 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:lab-on-a-chip? examine DNA with MEMS? microfluidics?

MEMS technology, in the form of a DNA lab-on-a-chip, is starting to assume a key role as part of a set of instruments for making quick analyses of microbiological samples. The lab-on-a-chip component of the system integrates electrical, mechanical and biological elements and draws on microfluidics technology to improve the speed, convenience and economy of performing important clinical diagnostics.

As with semiconductors, MEMS technology is extremely attractive because it allows precise, repeatable devices to be made by the hundreds, side by side, using extremely well-controlled processes. Indeed, today's systems-oriented microelectronic technologies make it possible to integrate complete systems, including mechanical sensors and interface circuits, on one chip.

At STMicroelectronics, MEMS technology is being harnessed to compare DNA samples for detecting multiple pathogens and performing other clinical diagnostics quickly, easily and inexpensively. Other applications include veterinary medicine, food control and biological defense. Presently, such analyses are carried out on costly and bulky instruments in molecular biology laboratories and diagnostic centers.

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