International microfluidics group launched to write new standards
It has been announced by Leti, a research institute of CEA Tech, that new ISO standards on microfluidics will be developed under Leti’s initiative and guidelines.
Microfluidics involves fluid-handling devices with internal dimensions in the range of micrometers up to a few millimetres. Often referred to as lab-on-a-chip, these portable systems integrate various laboratory functions on a single integrated processor. They are expected to boost point-of-care diagnosis in fields such as health care, and immediate, onsite environmental analysis and monitoring.
Following the MF Manufacturing project, a European initiative to bring the manufacturing of microfluidic devices to the same level of maturity and industrialisation as electronic devices, Leti emerged as a leader in the launch of an international microfluidics association and the definition of new ISO standards. Nicolas Verplanck, Microfluidic project manager at Leti, has been appointed convener of the European CEN/TC-332/WG7 and international ISO/TC48/WG3 (micro-process engineering) working groups.
Verplanck stated: “Existing manufacturing processes for electronic devices that have been on the market for many years benefit from well-established standards for electronic components, and are easily integrated in the production process of major foundries. In addition to beginning formal discussions on standards for interoperability and other key considerations, our new association, MakeFluidics, is defining standardisation protocols, processes and guidelines to fast-track development and adoption of microfluidic systems.”
Vincent Tempelaere, CEO of Eveon, said: “The standards from the MF Manufacturing project enabled us to develop a rapid proof of concept of fluidic test bench adapted to our customers’ needs.”
The anticipated standardisation of international microfluidics design and manufacturing will focus on increasing maturity of both functional and fabrication process aspects:
- Increasing maturity of microfluidic functions focussing both on novel functional modules and their interoperability.
- Increasing maturity of the manufacturing process: focussing on novel hybrid integration processes and on increasing maturity of some selected manufacturing processes that have good short-term commercial potential.
These steps aim to improve device availability, reliability and accessibility, and hope to result in lower production costs and improved time to market for microfluidic devices. In addition, these conditions are expected to facilitate large-scale adoption of these devices in target markets.