Press conference Compamed, 14.11.2019

“How lab-on-a-chip (LOAC) and organ-on-a-chip (OOC) technologies contribute to the development of new application areas in health”

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Information prior to the pressconference
by Dominique Bouwes, Business Director Micronit GmbH
Thursday, 14 November 2019, 10.00 a.m.
Presse Center, Messehochhaus, 1. OG., Messeplatz, 40474 Düsseldorf

Together we are getting older and older, which leads to increasing health care demands. Early detection of diseases and the possibility to treat each patient at a personalised level are both high on the wish list to improve health care and at the same time keeping the costs manageable. New technologies such as liquid biopsy, next-generation sequencing and organ-on-a-chip are the answer to these demands.

What can be achieved using lab-on-a-chip (LOAC) and organ-on-a-chip (OOC) technologies?

Early detection of cancer

Liquid biopsy can detect cancer biomarkers in blood at an early stage and in a less invasive manner than solid biopsies from a tumor. Early discovery means that treatment can be started earlier. Therefore, less therapy is needed and it is likely to put less strain on the patient.

Personalised medicine

Next-generation sequencing, creating a ‘blueprint’ of a person’s DNA, is slowly moving from research to diagnostics. The human genome can point out if a person has an enlarged risk for a certain disorder or condition. Using this knowledge, measures can be taken to prevent the illness. Another trend enabled by DNA sequencing is the development towards personalised medicine. By using the information about a person’s DNA in medicine prescription, diseases can be combatted more effectively for each individual patient.

Abolishing animal tests

In the early phase of drug development, animals tests are often the only way to obtain accurate physiological reponses. By creating a living organ-on-a-chip, these tests can be performed on microscale, without the use of ‘real’ animals. OOC is likely to entirely reform and improve this type of biochemical research.

Microfluidics – a brief explanation

Microfluidics – analysing tiny amounts of liquid on a chip – is leading to a new generation of pathology methods. The technology is performed on a chip that contains a network of channels that can be several times thinner than a human hair. The network can contain sensors and cavities with reagents. This way, a ‘lab-on-a-chip’ is created. Labs-on-chips can perform the same assays as in ‘real’ laboratories. They only take place at a much smaller scale and therefore delivered faster results. Labs-on-chips are already being used in the medical field, for example in the early detection of cancer and in non-invasive prenatal testing (NIPT).

MEMS – a brief explanation

MEMS (Micro ElectroMechanical Systems) are small, sub-millimetre platforms. These platforms contain electrical, mechanical and occasionally chemical components. For example sensors to check blood gas parameters, pacemakers or hearing aids. Practically all today’s devices contain MEMS, and the number of components that can be placed into one piece of hardware is still growing. In the field of health care, MEMS are already used in hearing aids, less invasive operation techniques and personalised health monitoring.

OOC houder met pipet.jpg tongue-on-a-chip.jpg

About Micronit

Micronit Microtechnologies is a microfluidics and MEMS specialist. The company develops and manufactures essential technologies for medical and diagnostic devices for clients worldwide.
To meet these challenges we have a growing team with a wide variety of backgrounds and experiences.

Our products can be found all over the world in DNA analysis systems or point-of-care testing solutions, they can even be found in space! We believe our strength comes through multidisciplinary teamwork and we are dedicated to unleashing your potential to make our customers successful.

Note for editors:
For more information, contact:
Dominique Bouwes, Business Director Micronit GmbH
Phone: +49 (0)231 88 68 077

Definition of microfluidics:
With microfluidics one can control and manipulate the behavior of fluids on the scale of micro- or even picoliters. Microfluidics is crucial for lab-on-chips where the functions of a complete laboratory are performed on micro-scale.

Definition of MEMS:
MEMS, or Micro ElectroMechanical Systems, are microscopic devices that contain moving parts like microsensors that register for example temperature, air pressure or movement.