February 21, 2024

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Micro-manufacturing tech to revolutionise blood testing

Having a pocket-sized device that can conduct laboratory-scale testing in an instant is one thing.

But, applying that device to the medical industry, affording a revolution in diagnosis and health monitoring worldwide is an entirely different level.

A ‘lab on a chip’ is being developed by an Associate Professor from the University of Technology Sydney (UTS) School of Mechanical and Mechatronic Engineering and a Professor from the Indian Institute of Technology Madras (IITM).

As reported, the two are collaborating in creating a one-stop-shop device for testing blood. The ‘lab on a chip’ is not a single test device. Rather, it is a whole laboratory.

It can be used to quickly input the sample and then get the results right then and there. They will then be able to assess the patient’s condition immediately.

The device, created as a prototype in the University’s Protospace 3D printing facilities, allows for researchers to conduct multiple blood tests using only a few drops of blood.

It promises less of a burden to patients requiring blood testing.

It works by filtering blood droplets into several chambers, in which each separate test is conducted simultaneously.

It is very handy as it is just the size of an ID card. It is designed to be disposable too. Therefore, it is an affordable and accessible option for many.

More importantly, it could prove to be particularly useful in the case of epidemic diseases.

If some sort of plague occurs, for instance, the patient will be able to quickly check what the disease is without the risk of it spreading.

The chip will be able to save them the trouble of having to bring the blood samples to a city to have it tested and checked for results.

However, current limitations in technology have made building such a device challenging to implement practically.

The demanding micro-additive manufacturing process is something most 3D printers are yet to achieve. Yet both researchers are in the process of working around that.

Most of the 3D printers now cannot deal with very fine details in the fabrication process. That is why this collaborative research project was proposed, to be able to look into micro-additive manufacturing.

If the research is successful, it can be used to make these concepts accessible, to bring them to life.

At present the micro-electrical-mechanical technology is being used for making the moulds for biomedical devices.

It involves many steps of production and the component parts need to be made separately and bonded.

But done with 3D printing, the device can be printed in one step. It would be fast and the cost would be much cheaper.

Initiating collaborative research project of such scale was as simple as reaching out through the UTS Key Technology Partnerships network.

Under the Key Technology Partnership (KTP) Visiting Fellow program, both researchers understand the value of working face-to-face with their research colleague.

The sharing of knowledge, students and facilities, is the primary benefit they get.

Looking from a different perspective, from the manufacturing and then materials side, for instance, allows them to solve problems and issues they would not have overcome alone.

Working together at the University has allowed the two academics to complete their work within a shorter timeframe.

Even though Skype or other similar applications can be used nowadays to communicate, everyone is too busy.

It always turns out that no one has the luxury of time to talk. Having both individuals present in the University makes it very convenient.

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Qlik’s vision is a data-literate world, where everyone can use data and analytics to improve decision-making and solve their most challenging problems. A private company, Qlik offers real-time data integration and analytics solutions, powered by Qlik Cloud, to close the gaps between data, insights and action. By transforming data into Active Intelligence, businesses can drive better decisions, improve revenue and profitability, and optimize customer relationships. Qlik serves more than 38,000 active customers in over 100 countries.

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CTC Global Singapore, a premier end-to-end IT solutions provider, is a fully owned subsidiary of ITOCHU Techno-Solutions Corporation (CTC) and ITOCHU Corporation.

Since 1972, CTC has established itself as one of the country’s top IT solutions providers. With 50 years of experience, headed by an experienced management team and staffed by over 200 qualified IT professionals, we support organizations with integrated IT solutions expertise in Autonomous IT, Cyber Security, Digital Transformation, Enterprise Cloud Infrastructure, Workplace Modernization and Professional Services.

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Planview has one mission: to build the future of connected work. Our solutions enable organizations to connect the business from ideas to impact, empowering companies to accelerate the achievement of what matters most. Planview’s full spectrum of Portfolio Management and Work Management solutions creates an organizational focus on the strategic outcomes that matter and empowers teams to deliver their best work, no matter how they work. The comprehensive Planview platform and enterprise success model enables customers to deliver innovative, competitive products, services, and customer experiences. Headquartered in Austin, Texas, with locations around the world, Planview has more than 1,300 employees supporting 4,500 customers and 2.6 million users worldwide. For more information, visit www.planview.com.

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SIRIM is a premier industrial research and technology organisation in Malaysia, wholly-owned by the Minister​ of Finance Incorporated. With over forty years of experience and expertise, SIRIM is mandated as the machinery for research and technology development, and the national champion of quality. SIRIM has always played a major role in the development of the country’s private sector. By tapping into our expertise and knowledge base, we focus on developing new technologies and improvements in the manufacturing, technology and services sectors. We nurture Small Medium Enterprises (SME) growth with solutions for technology penetration and upgrading, making it an ideal technology partner for SMEs.

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HashiCorp provides infrastructure automation software for multi-cloud environments, enabling enterprises to unlock a common cloud operating model to provision, secure, connect, and run any application on any infrastructure. HashiCorp tools allow organizations to deliver applications faster by helping enterprises transition from manual processes and ITIL practices to self-service automation and DevOps practices. 

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IBM is a leading global hybrid cloud and AI, and business services provider. We help clients in more than 175 countries capitalize on insights from their data, streamline business processes, reduce costs and gain the competitive edge in their industries. Nearly 3,000 government and corporate entities in critical infrastructure areas such as financial services, telecommunications and healthcare rely on IBM’s hybrid cloud platform and Red Hat OpenShift to affect their digital transformations quickly, efficiently and securely. IBM’s breakthrough innovations in AI, quantum computing, industry-specific cloud solutions and business services deliver open and flexible options to our clients. All of this is backed by IBM’s legendary commitment to trust, transparency, responsibility, inclusivity and service.

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