Thermal microdevices for biological and biomedical applications

Jain, A., and Goodson, K.E., 2011, "Thermal microdevices for biological and biomedical applications," Journal of Thermal Biology, Vol. 36, pp. 209-218.

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Temperature strongly influences the form and function of biologically important macromolecules and
cells. Advances in microfabrication technology have enabled highly localized and accurate temperature
control and manipulation, allowing the investigation of thermal effects on biological microsystems.
This paper reviews progress in this field, with emphasis on techniques and microdevices with
biomedical applications. Recent advances in the study of thermal effects on cellular behavior, enabled
by MEMS-based structures are reported. These studies focus on investigating thermal interactions
between the cell and its microenvironment. Thermal-based tools for concentration and purification of
biologically important macromolecules like DNA and proteins are summarized. These tools address
common issues in protein/DNA research, like concentration, separation and purification of samples.
With the increasing research focus on the integration of biomedicine with engineering technologies and
the several incentives of miniaturization, MEMS-based devices are likely to become increasingly
prevalent in biology and medicine. Thermal engineering is expected to continue to play an important
role in the improvement of current microdevices and the development of new ones.

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