Design for manufacturing lab-on-a-chip devices

Reducing time-to-market together

Mobile in vitro diagnostics is a growing market. The demand for fast and reliable point-of-care tests is steadily increasing. With Festo as a partner, scientists, universities, start-ups, and even established manufacturers can reduce the time-to-market for their lab-on-a-chip systems and get started with mass production straight away. This is made possible through collaborative engineering and a modular system of ready-to-install, pretested subsystems.

A simple system for reliable solutions

Festo offers a modular system of tried-and-tested components, including miniature cylinders for actuator technology in the smallest of spaces, miniature valves for controlling closely packed channels, and miniature sensors for monitoring the pressure or the position of the lab-on-a-chip.

We design a suitable valve block based on your microfluidic chip layout and select the modules that best meet your specifications. We integrate the components on valve blocks in such a way that the diaphragms on the microfluidic chips are precisely activated. This ensures that the chemicals are transported from the reservoirs into the reaction chambers in exactly the right order, for reliable and reproducible processes.

Ready-to-install subsystem: the piston rods activate the membranes of the microfluidic chip.

Festo doesn't just rely on electrical components for the design, but increasingly on pneumatic ones. The highly compact components operate extremely reliably, with minimal heat generation. This is important since the chemicals used are often sensitive to heat. Additional components for cooling can thus be avoided. Built-in pressure and vacuum generation means that no external air supply is necessary.

Controlling the processes in the Festo solutions does not require any complex software. This means the customer does not, for example, have to resort to software of unknown provenance. This eliminates the need for additional checks and avoids potential risks.

Straight to mass production with collaborative engineering

The Festo engineers support the customer right from the earliest planning phase. Starting from the defined procedure, the assay, they design a suitable valve block and select the modules that best meet the specifications from the system.   In doing so, they can utilise those basic elements that already integrate two or more components as functional units and are tailored to criteria such as available space or flow rate.

The customer very quickly receives samples that model the subsequent automation process, and is spared time-intensive and costly optimisation cycles. The sample structures are ready-to-install, pretested subsystems. After the proof of concept, mass production can be started immediately.

Straight to mass production – without in-house sample structures or manual tests.

Straight to mass production – without in-house sample structures or manual tests.

Tried-and-tested, certified, and reliably delivered

The jointly developed solutions consist of standard components that Festo, as the global leader in automation technology, can deliver in large quantities in the shortest possible time. The Festo quality management system is certified to ISO 13485. The systems and components are highly reliable thanks to their compliance with the industry standard and have proven themselves in industrial automation. The provisions of the In Vitro Diagnostic Device Regulation (IVDR) have also been taken into account during development.

With Festo as a partner, the quickest route to mass production of a new lab-on-a-chip system is also the most economical and the surest.

Example of a ready-to-install subsystem from Festo

Example of a ready-to-install subsystem from Festo
  • Miniature valve VOVK: extremely small at just 6 mm wide
  • Valve block and manifold duct plates: customised and modular
  • Proximity switch SMT: space-saving and reliable
  • Piston of the compact cylinder AEN: strong and sturdy
  • Push-in fitting QS and tubing: everything from a single source
Overview