Photonics is a strongly growing sector of the economy and a major research area in Europe. In Thuringia and in particular in Jena, the scientific and industrial location is shaped by universities, research institutes and companies in the field of optics and photonics. While the number of young, well-trained female graduates is high, women who hold a leading position in academia and high-tech industry are still underrepresented.
Research at the IPHT Microfluidics work group is aimed on making the benefits of microfluidics and lab-on-a-chip technology available to the standard laboratory workbench and instrumentation. This is backed by unique competences in the fields of digital microfluidics, imaging flow cytometry, bioparticle manipulation and micro reaction technology for the control of fast chemical processes.
The group is bundling scientific and technological skills in Microfluidics, Fluid-Dynamics and Microsystem Technologies. As a research partner we provide these skills to the scientific community for the investigation and microfluidic implementation of new spectroscopy enabled laboratory processes. Therefore we are collaborating with interested users in the microfluidic implementation of their concepts up to the delivery of custom devices and systems.
Backed by a comprehensive portfolio of completely characterized microfluidic structures and devices our computer assisted design process provides the fundamentals for the fast and successful implementation of even complex workflows in lab-on-a-chip devices. An ongoing palette of materials can be offered for their preparation. This includes systems with optimized optical properties (glass, glass silicon compounds and quartz glass), polycarbonate for the preparation of disposables in the format of a Microfluidic Laboratory Disc up to fast prototyping using PDMS molding technology. They can be equipped with advanced micro structures including nanofilter elements, heaters and sensors, electrodes and optical transducers for optical sensing and readout.
Standard conform chip formats, chip mounts and fluid interfacing technology guarantee a high level of usability of the devices in combination with approved integration capabilities into optical measurement stages and microscopes.
Ongoing scientific research addresses the development of smart microfluidic operation units, the development and application of optical methods and approaches for the readout of microfluidic assays and integrated sensing up to the integration of piezo-actuated systems for single cell manipulation and image based sorting of cells and droplets for application in Health, Biotechnology and Environmental- and Process Monitoring.