Low Cost Integrated Molecular Diagnostic Systems

Tech ID: 22345 / UC Case 2012-073-0

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Brief Description

Conventional lab-on-a-chip systems or diagnostic systems generally use glass and polymer as their substrates and structural materials. Recent advances in nanophotonic crystals for sensing applications provide a new possibility of fully integrated lab-on-a-chip systems and diagnostic systems having an 'all-in-one' functionality as a nanophotonic crystal changes its color responding upon chemical species of interest. This colorimetric response could make 'naked eye detection' feasible without using any instrument. Most nanophotonic crystals, however, are made of ceramic, metal oxide, or metal, which needs assembly onto glass- or polymer-based diagnostic systems. Integration of sensing components onto conventional lab-on-a-chip diagnostic systems is a challenging task in developing stand-alone as well as ready-to-use integrated diagnostic systems.

Researchers at the University of California, Berkeley have demonstrated a novel approach that addresses this challenge. The approach can be used to form nanofluidic and microfluidic channels and other functional chambers to form a lab-on-a-chip diagnostic system. Furthermore, it is ideal for both optical sensor template and electrical circuits with self aligned insulating layers. Other functional layers can be bonded on functional layers to append other functionalities including instrument-free degas driven flow and on-chip electrochemical cell lysis.

Suggested uses

  • Developing integrated molecular diagnostic systems for i) disease diagnosis; ii) food borne pathogen detection; iii) molecular biomarker identification, and iv) monitoring of endocrine disrupting chemicals from aqueous samples including but not limited to blood, serum, saliva, urine, interstitial fluid, environmental water, agricultural cultural samples. Particularly where point-of-detection is greatly desired.
  • Integrated lab-on-a-chip diagnostic systems for various detection and diagnosis.
  • Applicable to a patch for food safety monitoring - a simple foil-sticker could be placed on perishable food packages to alert contamination by food borne pathogens.


  • Enables the multi-functional integrated molecular diagnostic systems with simple fabrication process and low manufacturing cost.
  • Simplicity in forming an integrated diagnostic system having 'all-in-one' functionalities from sample preparation to detection.
  • Functional microstructures such as microfluidic channels, reaction chambers, cell separation trench structures, and nanophotonic crystals can be easily formed on the same substrate for an integrated Molecular Diagnostic System.
  • A roll-to-roll processing would make it scalable, and batch manufacturing possible, at low cost.


  • Lee, Luke P.

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Curt Theisen / curt@berkeley.edu / tel: View Phone Number. Please reference Tech ID #22345.

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