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PhD Student at École de technologie supérieure studying Carbon Nanotube MEMS.

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Stuff that is going to power our lives in the near future!

What exactly is it? MEMS, as the name suggests is a technology that combines electrical and mechanical elements to make devices such as sensors and actuators. How does it affect our lives? MEMS technology has been gaining momentum since the past decade or so because of inherent advantages like small size, device efficiency and ease of fabrication. Many types of MEMS devices have been fabricated to date. Some of them include gas sensors, pressure sensors and for the fun of it, scientists have even produced micro-sized guitars! MEMS Gas sensors have been one of the many products that has been commercialized. MEMS Gas sensors have much quicker response times to a gas than conventional sensors. A quicker system can be key to saving precious lives in case of a gas leak. MEMS systems also have a longer shelf life than conventional sensors which means you don't have to replace them every year or even every 5 years. Airbags in cars are another great application of MEMS systems. How does the future look? The future does look very promising for MEMS technology. The global MEMS market was valued at $13 billion in 2015 and is projected to hit $26.6 billion by 2022. Internet of things(IoT) How cool would it be if you can control the appliances in your house sitting at your workplace? This is basically an application of IoT. Such technology already exists but is still expensive for the average consumer. IoT is the inter-networking of physical devices that enable them to exchange information allowing for a better life standard. MEMS Technology will play a major role in commercialization of IoT. All of this was realized due to one simple sentence Richard Feynman, the celebrated physicist once remarked that "There is plenty of room at the bottom". This can be thought of as the inspiration behind MEMS technology. Going by the current trend and future projections, MEMS is definitely on course to make a huge impact in our lives. Industry Several big players like Texas Instruments, Hewlett-Packard, Intel and Boeing are investing in MEMS research. This is further proof that the market is on the verge of booming.

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Recent lab-on-chip developments for novel drug discovery.

Abstract: Microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) and micro total analysis systems (μTAS) revolutionized the biochemical and electronic industries, and this miniaturization process became a key driver for many markets. Now, it is a driving force for innovations in life sciences, diagnostics, analytical sciences, and chemistry, which are called 'lab-on-a-chip, (LOC)' devices. The use of these devices allows the development of fast, portable, and easy-to-use systems with a high level of functional integration for applications such as point-of-care diagnostics, forensics, the analysis of biomolecules, environmental or food analysis, and drug development. In this review, we report on the latest developments in fabrication methods and production methodologies to tailor LOC devices. A brief overview of scale-up strategies is also presented together with their potential applications in drug delivery and discovery. The impact of LOC devices on drug development and discovery has been extensively reviewed in the past. The current research focuses on fast and accurate detection of genomics, cell mutations and analysis, drug delivery, and discovery. The current research also differentiates the LOC devices into new terminology of microengineering, like organ-on-a-chip, stem cells-on-a-chip, human-on-a-chip, and body-on-a-chip. Key challenges will be the transfer of fabricated LOC devices from lab-scale to industrial large-scale production. Moreover, extensive toxicological studies are needed to justify the use of microfabricated drug delivery vehicles in biological systems. It will also be challenging to transfer the in vitro findings to suitable and promising in vivo models. For further resources related to this article, please visit the WIREs website.

Pub.: 18 Feb '17, Pinned: 13 Apr '17