Nature‘s latest Insight series of reviews is on microfluidics: the Lab on a chip. I’ve played around with microfluidic network design, fabrication and use in cell biology experiments, and it’s pretty cool stuff.
In it, microfluidics guru George Whitesides takes us through the origins, present and forthcoming developments in this area of biotechnology, including development of microfluidic chemostats, efficient screening for optimal protein crystallization conditions, a platform for cell and developmental biology, and more.
I’m particularly fond of El-Ali, Sorger and Jensen’s Cells on chips essay, detailing some advances in tissue and cell culture techniques on microsystems, but check the whole series out. It’s pretty darn cool what these tiny devices can do.