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Gen Magazine features Dr. Aaron Wheeler’s research in microfluidics

MI_kapplexGEN Magazine (Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology News) featured the microfluidics research of Dr. Aaron Wheeler on November 15, 2012.

Wheeler, Canada Research Chair of Bioanalytical Chemistry and an associate professor at the University of Toronto, has made an invention disclosure to MaRS Innovation; Kapplex is the start-up company created to commercialize his research.

Here’s an excerpt:

Technological innovations are presenting new challenges in the use of microfluidics in several fields such as biomedical research, with emphasis on drug discovery and design of portable devices for clinical diagnosis.

Recently, a number of the top researchers attended the “European Molecular Biology Laboratory Conference on Microfluidics” in Heigelberg, Germany, to discuss the latest lab-on-a-chip technologies and applications.

Aaron Wheeler, Ph.D., associate professor in the department of chemistry at the University of Toronto, Canada, presented recent results on digital microfluidics (DMF), where instead of tubes, fluidic droplets are controlled electromechanically across an array of electrodes coated with a hydrophobic insulator.

An advantage of DMF is its compatibility with established detection instruments, such as fluorescence microplate readers, according to Dr. Wheeler, who added that the technique can also be used to carry out cell-based screens.

In his most recent work, Dr. Wheeler is using DMF to address questions on biomedical research. First, DMF is used to screen for metabolic disorders of newborns using analytes extracted from blood spots dried onto millimeter-diameter filter-paper punches. He said that the new approach is as efficient as conventional newborn screening measurements and provides the advantages of automated analysis and a significant reduction in the amount of reagents used.

GEN covers biotechnology from the bench to business. The magazine publishes a print edition 21 times a year and has additional exclusive editorial content online. You can read the full article about Dr. Wheeler’s research on GEN’s website.

Posted by Elizabeth Monier-Williams, marketing and communications manager.