Honorary lecture: Everything flows on a microfluidic chip


Event details

Date 11.09.2024
Hour 17:3018:30
Speaker Prof. Martinus Gijs
Category Inaugural lectures - Honorary Lecture
Event Language English
Microchannels can be patterned in substrates (‘chips’) using state-of-the-art microfabrication technologies and allow handling and exploitation of tiny amounts of liquids. This type of activity, also known as the Lab-on-a-Chip research field, has been a fascinating area of activity during last 30 years. Over this time period, a shift of focus from basic chip technology development towards advanced biological/medical applications was noticed. Due to the large number of experimental data that can be very accurately and reproducibly generated on a microfluidic chip, machine learning and Artificial Intelligence have now entered the field to assist researchers in data and image analysis. Several start-ups have emerged from my laboratory, which presently continue to valorize our research in this area. In this presentation, I will focus on a few topics of our research. I will discuss how magnetic microparticles can be advantageously used for on-chip disease diagnostics and how dielectric microspheres can be used as microlenses for enhanced optical sensing and imaging. Microfluidic chips can also be equipped with tiny microreactors for chemical synthesis of micro- and nanoparticles, or can harbor worms (Caenorhabditis elegans) to be used as live test animals for biomedical research. I will finally discuss how wide and thin microfluidic chambers can be used for human tissue analysis, enabling improved cancer diagnostics and spatial biology research.

Martin A. M. Gijs received his degree in physics in 1981 from the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium, and his PhD degree in physics at the same university in 1986. He joined the Philips Research Laboratories in Eindhoven, The Netherlands, in 1987. Subsequently, he has worked there on micro- and nano-fabrication processes of high critical temperature superconducting Josephson and tunnel junctions, and on the microfabrication of microstructures in magnetic multilayers showing the giant magnetoresistance effect. He joined the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) in 1997, where he was until recently a Full Professor in the Institute of Electrical and Microengineering, leading the Microsystems Technology Group. His main interests are in developing technologies for novel magnetic devices, new microfabrication technologies for microsystems fabrication in general, and the development and use of microfluidics for biomedical applications in particular. He is in the editorial board of the journals Microfluidics and Nanofluidics and Lab on a Chip; he has published 350 papers in peer-reviewed journals and holds 20 patents. He is an Honorary Professor of EPFL since May 2024.


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  • Faculté STI – Décanat & Institut IEM