We have a winner... or rather two - the invetors were so blown away by the responses they coudln't just pick one!
As Feng put it: "I am actually very, very impressed with Marblar exchanges, there is some amazing stuff!"
We're proud to announce that the shared winning entries are
Congratulations to both of you - we're looking forward to seeing these ideas become life-saving reality soon.
Also check out thre remaining exciting finalist entries - an all-round impressive showing.
As always the comments are still open for you to keep the conversation going around each idea. And if you have an amazing application idea that you didn't get a chance to enter but really want the inventors to hear about, just drop it in the discussion below :)
SlipChip lets you count molecules at home. It’s a microfluidic platform that only needs two pieces of plastic or glass to enable simple, precise manipulation of reactions in a programmable way, creating a “lab-on-a-chip” for many parallel reactions. Here’s the deal: by simply sliding (slipping) the chips relative to each other, you can start multiple reactions in parallel. (Dude: check out the video)
SlipChip is fantastically easy to use. No pumps, valves, or controlled pressure source needed (and why would you want it?). Multistep manipulations, like addition of multiple reagents and exposure to different reaction conditions, can be achieved by consecutive slippings. Plus, you can have a huge range of reaction volumes (picolitres to mL’s) and there ain’t no cross-contamination. But seriously, check out the video man (and read more below!)
Competition sponsored by the Royal Society of Chemistry
- Up to single molecule sensitivity for assays - basically capable of performing digital reactions and quantifications.. “count molecules at home”! (see slides).
- Can manipulate solutions with high accuracy and robustness.
- Multiplex capability (different reactions in different wells)
- Fantastic range in reaction volumes (picolitres to millilitres)
- Hella easy-to-operate
- Handle sample in different volumes on the same chip (check out the multivolume paper)
- Multistep reactions possible (have you seen our immunoassay and digital RPA papers?)
- Can use glass or a variety of plastics (standard manufacturing methods) – But hey, you need to select the right material depending on the reaction solvents and temperature
You can help in either of two ways actually:
One way is helping finding capabilities SlipChip makes possible, and applications using those capabilities.
Secondly is thinking up applications for capabilities we’ve already discovered. These include:
b. Multiplex PCR (ID’ing of pathogens, etc)
c. Digital, multivolume PCR for absolute quantification of nucleic acids
d. “Count molecules at home” – SlipChip can count molecules (such as nucleic acids, etc) in the field.
Via our ability to count molecules at home we're creating a diagnostic test for HIV and HCV viral loads that untrained users can deploy in the field. So hmm, if you could really quantify nucleic acids or other molecules in the field, what would it enable or revolutionize?
Get creative. Just use your marbles! ;)
I was a grad student in Chicago working with Professor Rustem Ismagilov. We’re engineers and chemists and we wanted to find a better way to do multiple reactions at once. We also wanted to radically re-think the process, not just improve on stuff already out there. It had to be easy, low-cost, and able to handle multiple complex reactions of various volumes without needing pumps or valves. Voila: SlipChip!
Also, given it’s easy to use and fabricate, SlipChip can be applied not only in the lab, but also in resource limited settings (such as consumer use and developing areas). We hope to share some neat ideas with you!
"Digital PCR on a SlipChip", Lab Chip 2010 10: 2666-2672
"Multiplexed Quantification of Nucleic Acids with Large Dynamic Range Using Multivolume Digital RT-PCR on a Rotational SlipChip Tested with HIV and Hepatitis C Viral Load", JACS 2011 133: 17705-17712
"Theoretical Design and Analysis of Multivolume Digital Assays with Wide Dynamic Range Validated Experimentally with Microfluidic Digital PCR", Analytical Chemistry 2011 83: 8158-8168
"Digital Isothermal Quantification of Nucleic Acids via Simultaneous Chemical Initiation of Recombinase Polymerase Amplification Reactions on SlipChip", Analytical Chemistry 2011 83:3533-3540