Siemens takes over development of 'lab on a chip'
23 June 2005
Siemens is taking over the development of an award-winning
electrochemical biochip from its partners in the project. In November 2004,
the joint development of the biochip technology 'lab on a chip' by Siemens,
the Fraunhofer Institute for Silicon Technology, and Infineon Technologies
received the German Future Prize.
The transfer to Siemens involves patents, a high-tech biochip lab as well
as experts with the know-how of silicon biochip manufacture. Siemens aims to
bring the chip, known as Quicklab, to market maturity.
Quicklab is a molecular diagnostic system for performing quick tests in
clinical routine diagnostics. Since it is suitable for both DNA as well as
proteins, it provides for a broad spectrum of applications. It is possible
to detect viruses of infectious diseases as well as allergies, hereditary
diseases and incompatibilities with respect to medications or
The entire analysis system is integrated on a smart card (see picture
below) and provides the basis for comprehensive as well as cost-effective
analysis methods in clinical routine diagnostics.
The evaluation system provides information in the form of an electrical
signal, making it considerably faster, more robust and simpler as well as
more cost-effective than current optical methods used. Today, tests of this
nature are performed in large labs with complex analytical systems that are
both expensive as well as time-consuming, requiring at times several days
for providing the necessary results.
The application of fully integrated diagnostic “lab on a chip“-systems in
clinical routines is currently in the start-up phase. However, worldwide
market growth is reported to reach up to 20% per annum. The current
diagnostic market reaches about one billion euros per year.