MU Biological Engineers Build Capillary-Sized Laboratories

MU researchers are taking major strides toward the development of tiny, highly efficient liquid-core optical ring resonators (LCORR), or “lab-on-a-chip” sensors, which can perform multiple analyses at a high rate of speed with samples as small as a picoliter, or one-trillionth of a liter.

Xudong FanXudong Fan, Assistant Professor, Biological Engineering

Xudong Fan, assistant professor of biological engineering, and his team create exceedingly small, thin-walled glass tubes that are specially treated and illuminated with laser light. Materials are then passed through the tube and interfere with the wavelengths of the laser light in ways that researchers can meaningfully interpret.

According to an article, “Towards lab-on-a-chip sensors with liquid-core optical ring resonators,” published on the International Society for Optical Engineering Web site by Fan and his team, this new technique is a simple, effective and comparatively cheap alternative to florescent labeling, or staining, and has broad and numerous applications in genomics, proteomics, disease detection, chemical analysis and drug discovery.