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The Pandemic Is Driving Innovative Microfluidic Disease Detection

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Systems that use photonics to monitor the flow of liquid when assessing health can now capture a whole host of features quickly, accurately, and with increasing mobility.

DOUGLAS FARMER, SENIOR EDITOR [email protected]

As medicine and the monitoring of health have advanced into the modern era, researchers and clinicians have sought to capture an ever-increasing number of the biomarkers that are carried in biofluids, especially in biofluids such as blood and saliva that are present in living beings. Microfluidic systems establish a sterile environment in which to collect this information. Optofluidic components — including light sources, such as lasers and LEDs, detectors, lenses, and switches — have enabled these systems to reveal biomarkers that are essential to plotting a course for effective...Read full article

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    Published: January 2022
    Glossary
    photolithography
    Photolithography is a key process in the manufacturing of semiconductor devices, integrated circuits, and microelectromechanical systems (MEMS). It is a photomechanical process used to transfer geometric patterns from a photomask or reticle to a photosensitive chemical photoresist on a substrate, typically a silicon wafer. The basic steps of photolithography include: Cleaning the Substrate: The substrate, often a silicon wafer, is cleaned to remove any contaminants from its surface. ...
    gaussian beam
    A beam of light whose electrical field amplitude distribution is Gaussian. When such a beam is circular in cross section, the amplitude is E(r) = E(0) exp [-(r/w)2], where r is the distance from beam center and w is the radius at which the amplitude is 1/e of its value on the axis; w is called the beamwidth.
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