LAB-ON-A-CHIP. A whole laboratory, but as small as a pill. Nanotechnology makes it possible. With modern technology we can miniaturize more and more devices and systems. It has big advantages for research wich normally only could be done in advanced laboratory, now can be done in the field or even at home, such as a pregnancy test. Smart combinations of sensors, electronics and microfluidic systems are now developed as “labs on a chip”.
KITT Engineering works with Devlab on a project named NanoSense, in coop with the University of Wageningen for an alternative method, namely breath analysis. The amount of ketones in your breath will vary depending on your glucose level. However, the concentrations are very small so there is a need for a small sensitive nano-sensor.
The solution is sought in a nano-wire sensor, a super thin thread, 5000 times thinner than a hair. After special treatment, the resistance of the wire depends on gas concentrations. The prototype nano-wires are made on a silicon chip of a few mm in size. KITT Engineering has developed techniques to facilitate the research:
The most famous application however is the device that diabetics can use measuring their blood glucose levels themselves. The disadvantage of this method is that you still have to prick for a drop of blood.