LONDON Singapore Institute of Manufacturing Technology (SIMTech), a research institute of the Singaporean Agency for Science, Technology and Research, has signed an agreement with the Centre Suisse d'Electronique et de Microtechnique SA (CSEM), Switzerland, to carry out joint research and exchange staff for the development of microfluidic technologies.
Microfluidics is already used for ink-jet printing, lab-on-a-chip, biomedical research and diagnostics, chemical processing, water monitoring and the harnessing of alternative energy.
The market for microfluidics in the life sciences alone is set to be $2 billion in 2012, according to Yole Development. Advances in microfluidics technology are well aligned with Singaporeís long-term R&D thrusts to grow the strategic clean energy, water, environment and biomedical industries.
The three-year collaboration will cover microsystem technology, environmental monitoring, microfluidics and lab-on-a-chip developments. One specific collaborative effort is on the development of a microfluidic system for environmental quality monitoring to detect impurities and contaminants in water. In this project, CSEM will spearhead the microsystem development and SIMTech will focus on coming up with polymer microfluidics for the manipulation of liquid samples.
Another area for collaboration is on the realization of an integrated biochip system for disease detection. With CSEM's expertise making the ion-sensitive field effect transistor and SIMTech's polymer microfluidics design and manufacturing experience, the collaboration is expected to produce a self-contained integrated biochip.
"SIMTech and CSEM have already worked together for a long time, and it is a great pleasure for us to intensify this collaboration in a field of high strategic value and high commercial interest, especially for all issues concerning microsystems technologies. CSEM and SIMTech together will be able to push the boundaries of the technology in this area," said Professor Thomas Hinderling, CEO of CSEM, in a statement.
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