Microfluidic cells for high-throughput multiple response analyses – UpTurn

Funding source: National Centre for Research and Development (NCBR) through the EEA and Norway Grants.

Project number: NOR/POLNOR/UPTURN/0060/2019

Partners: Redox.me, Sintef MiNaLab, Technical university of Gdańsk, IPC PAS

PI: Paweł Wojcik (Redox.me)
PI at IPC: Martin Jönsson-Niedziółka

Total funding: 5 917 099,88 PLN
At IPC: 1 109 500,00 PLN

Short description

The overall goal of the UpTURN project is the development of a first-of-its-kind, multiparametric instrumentation equipment integrating microfluidic electrochemical cells and advanced microelectrodes materials. The developed instrumentation will be compatible with other in situ analyses technologies such as UV-Vis, FTIR/IR, Raman, NMR and ultra-fast laser spectroscopy. The ambition is to develop a powerful, yet flexible research tool, which is open to customization of all its components, experimental conditions, and downstream analysis by users. We envision that such tools will revolutionize current practices of laboratory analysis.

Most of the state-of-the-art laboratory instrumentation for electrochemical studies possess some practical limitations, among which the most critical are high volume of electrochemical cells, large size of electrodes, lack of multiplexed analysis and complexity of integration of custom-made electrode materials. Moreover, most of the systems rely on single analytical technique. Several important features will be targeted by the final UpTURN instrumentation platform. Among those are reducing volume of the flow cell to address applications that require handling of small liquid volumes (e.g. bioanalytes and pure ionic conductors) or chemicals characterized by high costs (e.g. ionic liquids, nanoprobes). The cells will incorporate miniaturized electrodes which in its turn contribute to higher mass transport, immunity to ohmic drop, smaller RC constant and enhanced signal-to-noise ratio. Feasibility of multiplexed electrochemical experiments and possibility of incorporation of users’ propriate materials are other features highly sought on the market.

UpTURN consortium includes a multi-disciplinary team of young research experts in the field of micro- and nanofabrication, advanced nanomaterials, electrochemistry, system integration and hardware design will work together on the development of novel applied electrochemistry approaches and translate them into a new commercial application. The Polish competence includes (i) Redox.me, a Krakow-based branch of the company specialized in assembly of multipurpose electrochemical setups, (ii) Institute of Physical Chemistry of Polish Academy of Science, an academic group with expertise in electrochemistry, materials testing and microfluidics, and (iii) Gdańsk University of Technology, an academic group focusing on the development of advanced functional materials. The Norwegian part of the consortium is represented by SINTEF MiNaLab providing a solid foundation in micro- and nanotechnologies, and advanced material sciences.

The project provides an excellent environment for training and educating young researchers, and a platform for gaining early career experience within the multidisciplinary, innovative industrial research settings. The project will promote long term collaborations between Poland and Norway: parts of the future product can be manufactured in Norway and the consortium will identify suitable partners to develop strategies for future joint grant applications.

Project duration: 2020 – 2023

Text by Elizaveta Vereshchagina (MiNaLab)

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