Environmental microbiology-on-a-chip and its future impacts

Wen Tso Liu, Liang Zhu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Rapid advances in microfabrication, DNA and protein microarray and microfluidic technologies have enabled the development of fully-integrated, miniaturized systems. These so called 'laboratory-on-a-chip' (LOC) devices perform sample preparation (i.e. concentration, separation and purification) together with biochemical reactions and detection steps in a simple and automated manner. We believe LOC technology for environmental microbiology studies will have immediate impacts on microbial monitoring by achieving detection and identification within minutes at the single-cell level, and on microbial ecology by deepening the understanding of microbial community structure and diversity and correlating these with niche-specific functions within a micro space. In the long run, significant impacts are anticipated on environmental metagenomics and proteomics.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)174-179
Number of pages6
JournalTrends in Biotechnology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2005
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Bioengineering


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