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Lab on a Chip: Educational kit & course
Lab on a Chip (LoC) devices are microlaboratories for measurements and reactions in tiny volumes. The University of Twente in Enschede, The Netherlands, has a lot of expertise on LoC technology. For this work prof.dr.ir. Albert van den Berg in 2009 received a Spinozaprize. Several spin off companies in the neighbourhood of the UT develop commercial LoC devices. One of them, Micronit Microfluidics is specialized in high volume customized production of LoCs.
Unique Lab on a Chip practical kit for educational use
Prof. Van den Berg donated part of his Spinozaprize for the development of educational equipment and course materials to make high school students aquainted with Lab on a Chip technology, one of the branches of the nanotechnology tree. Starting in 2010, a Teachers Development Team wrote a course for the Dutch schools in the discipline NLT (Natuur, Leven en Technologie, in English: Advanced Science, Mathematics and Technology).
Practical work has a central position in the course, to be carried out with a unique, specially designed educational kit. Students can do a series of Lab on a Chip experiments themselves at their school bench. Normally those experiments require a lot of expensive equipment. The kit is developed by Micronit Microfluidics and University of Twente (depts. ELAN and BIOS) and a team of highschool Science teachers.
Teachers Development Team (TDT)
The development of the NLT course is done by a TDT, the University of Twente’s programme for CPD of highschool teachers. The TDT is a meeting place for teachers, experts and company people, providing room for exchange of knowledge and experience.
The group is keen on possibilities to cooperate with schools and experts in other countries, like the UK. The educational LoC kit is ready for production and can be ordered to be used anywhere in the world. Currently the course materials are in Dutch. We do like to translate the course materials, but interest from abroad and some funding is neccessary. So, we would like to get in contact with Englisch speaking teachers who would like to use the practical and course materials in the classroom.
The course materials and practical kit are currently being tested on highschools in The Netherlands. Around summer 2012 the course (in Dutch) will be available for use. Many characteristics of microfluidics in a LoC device can be viewed using a standard microscope. Laminar flow, mixing, droplet formation can be done using the current educational kit. In the near future also electrophoresis and detection become possible, when an electronic device is ready for use.
The practical kit is available for sale, and can be ordered from Micronit Microfluidics. See below for contact details.
Extra features Lab on a Chip educational project
If schools in the UK or elsewhere are interested in using this website, it is possible to produce a translation at www.labochip.org. This site isn’t active, yet.
The Lab on a Chip educational project is described in Dutch on the website of Bètasteunpunt Oost (www.beta-oost.nl). In a few month also www.labochip.nl and www.labochip.org (English language) can be browsed.
Contact on the project and course materials: dr. Jan Jaap Wietsma (email@example.com) of Bèta Steunpunt Oost / NLT, University of Twente.