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Whipping fluids along in microlabs

Scientists detail one way for hairlike structures to move liquid in a “lab on a chip”

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12:20pm, January 30, 2009

Taking a cue from nature, scientists have shown one way that microscopic, hairlike structures could move liquid through tiny channels in a “lab on a chip” — essentially a miniaturized biology lab etched into a device roughly the size of a computer chip.

Developing microlabs is a burgeoning area of research, and one of the principle challenges is controlling the flow of fluids at the minute scale of micrometers. In these chips, tiny volumes of blood or other biological fluids are moved between chambers where automated tests are performed. Smaller ver

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