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The term Lab-on-a-chip (also chip laboratory or English lab-on-a-chip device , lab-on-a-chip ) refers to a microfluidic system which all of the functionality of a macroscopic laboratory houses on an only plastic card-sized plastic substrate . With this technology, the smallest quantities (a few picoliters to microliters ) of a liquid can be analyzed completely and automatically on a single chip. The transport of the samples between the different reaction and analysis chambers takes place with the help of capillary forces . If an organ is reproduced, it is referred to as an organ-on-a-chip .

Extensive biological , chemical and physical processes take place in the chip laboratory . Often silicon or borosilicate glass is used in chip laboratories . The space saving of the chip laboratories is important, since complex processes can take place in the smallest of spaces. Due to the size of the laboratory, it is also very easy to transport, which makes it interesting, among other things, for initial medical care outside of medical practices and hospitals. One of the few examples where laboratory-on-chip applications are already being successfully implemented in everyday life is the area of ​​automated ion channel analysis (see automated patch clamp ). The functionality of the lab-on-a-chip systems is increased by active components such as microvalves , pumps and sensors .

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Individual evidence

  1. Mini-Valves: Special solution for the smallest medical products. February 12, 2018, accessed June 11, 2019 (German).