Lab-on-a-Chip (LOC) Devices Information
Lab-on-a-chip (LOC) devices are integrated semiconductor devices that serve as a laboratory for the testing and analysis of very small chemical and clinical samples. Normally, these instruments and analytical devices consist of a network of channels that are built on a semiconductor die for use as a micro or nano lab. As a rule, lab-on-a-chip (LOC) devices are designed to handle extremely small amounts of fluids such as blood and human serum. Most lab-on-a-chip products have embedded capabilities for chemical or biological analysis. Typically, microfluidics technology is used for the analysis of biological samples. Lab-on-a-chip workstations are also available. Most lab-on-a-chip (LOC) devices are etched onto glass or polymer substrates. LOC device specifications include weight, physical dimensions, line voltage, line frequency, power consumption, and ambient operating temperature. Safety standards for lab-on-a-chip (LOC) devices are available from the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC), the Canadian Standards Association (CSA), Underwriters Laboratory (UL), and other standards organizations. Lab-on-a-chip (LOC) devices that come with integral software carry specifications for the computer processor, memory, number and type of ports, hard disk, and operating system. Selecting lab-on-a-chip (LOC) devices requires an analysis of features and benefits. As a rule, lab-on-a-chip products are faster than gels and can analyze 10 or more samples in 30 to 40 minutes. Lab-on-a-chip (LOC) devices are also relatively easy to use. Typically, an operator just loads the chip and presses a start button. Some lab-on-a-chip products feature ready-to-use assays or pre-packaged reagent kits. LOC benefits include contamination-free hardware, data reproducibility, and ease of handling and storage. Lab-on-a-chip (LOC) devices can quantify individual fragments per sample and provide purity results for the two-color analysis of fluorescently-stained cells. Lab-on-a-chip (LOC) devices are used mainly in medicine, chemistry, and nanotechnology. Applications include dilution, mixing, sample handling, chromatographic separation, staining, dilution, and detection. Some lab-on-a-chip (LOC) devices are used in the analysis of proteins, deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA), or ribonucleic acid (RNA). Others are used to detect genetically-modified organisms, optimize protein purification methods, or amplify mitochondrial DNA sequences. Labs-on-a chip (LOCs) for glycoprotein sizing, flow cytometric analysis, and the development of cellular assays are also available. Often, lab-on-a-chip (LOC) devices are used in place of gel electrophoresis for DNA fragment analysis and RNA sample quality control (QC).