In our last blog post we revised the concept and benefits of lab automation and how Nagi’s SydLab System is an ideal fully automated platform for high-throughput screening of drugs and substances in C. elegans. Today, we are going to go through one of the components of the SydLab System: the microfluidic Nagi chip for in vivo testing at the in vitro scale.
First things first - Microfluidics?
We call both, the science and the technology, microfluidics but, what is it exactly? Microfluidics is the science that studies the behavior of fluids through micro-channels. Called likewise, the development and manufacturing of micro-devices with chambers and tunnels filled with fluids is also referred to as microfluidics.
But, for what? Microfluidics are commonly used for Labs-on-a-Chip technologies since such small volumes of fluids (we are talking about femtoliters volumes) present an ideal behavior for scientific experimentation. Nonetheless, there are many other types of microfluidic chips.
A microfluidic chip is a combination of microchannels, either molded or engraved, connected to a macro-environment by multiple hollowed holes where the fluids can be injected and expelled. There are several benefits in using such technology compared to regular-size devices, like the decrease in sample, chemical and reagents volume, or the possibility of running multiple experiments in parallel due to their small size. All in all, those characteristics help to decrease R&D costs and time.
16.3% - That is how much the microfluidics market will grow until 2028
With a reported $17.9 billion market size in 2020 (Grand View research, 2021), the microfluidics industry is expected to exert a high growth rate during the next few years due to the convenience of such technology. The main market drivers are the capability of microfluidic technologies to speed up processes, and the lack of specialized personnel in the sector, making microfluidics even more attractive due to its user-friendliness and automation possibility.
In particular, microfluidic devices are expected to exert a CAGR of 20.5% in the next five years driven by their multiple applications for fast and resource-efficient drug discovery and biological system’s analysis (Fortune Business Insights, 2019). Additionally, when segmenting the microfluidic devices market, microfluidic chips are still leading the race due to their multiple applications, also exerting the highest growth rate driven by its cost-effectiveness and device friendly integration (Fortune Business Insights, 2019).
Experts point out the still lack of awareness of such technologies as the main pain point for the market, since there exists a lack of knowledge of how to use it and, more importantly, how to integrate it in the processes.
Meet the Organism-on-Chip technology - Easy. Fast. Ethical.
Nagi’s Organism-on-Chip technology introduces a paradigm-shift in C. elegans-based drug and chemical testing. We completely replaced the traditional manual protocols of C. elegans research by standardized operations within the Nagi Chips – disposable microfluidic cartridges – integrated in our fully automated laboratory device, the SydLab System.