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Leti innovation stories

Digital microfluidics - ILLUMINA

Published on 16 April 2016



Illumina’s table-top lab on chip may be small, but it packs in an impressive range of functions. The lab does all the things a “real” lab can do, from dispensing, mixing, and rinsing substances to adding reagents. Testing samples requires only tiny 300-nanoliter droplets of various reagents. That’s barely a hundredth of a drop of liquid. The lab is currently used to prepare samples for DNA Next Generation Sequencing on Illumina’s platforms.


The lab-on-chip technology developed by Leti and Illumina, which acquired Leti R&D partner Advanced Liquid Logic, is based on an innovative sampling method that differentiates it from other LOCs. By using electrowetting on dielectric to move and mix liquids and reagents, it eliminates the need for pumps and valves.

An electric field-applied by activating an electrode under the droplet-moves the liquid to the desired location at the desired speed. This opens the door to automation, while taking system miniaturization to new dimensions.

Illumina and Leti have each filed many patents for electrowetting technologies. So, it was only natural for them to continue collaborating to improve labon- chip performance, reliability and cost.

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