Lab on a Chip: Miniaturisation for Chemistry and Biology

Edited by:
  • Andreas Manz
Royal Society of Chemistry. 4/yr. £395, $596 (institutional); £90, $136 (members of the Royal Society of Chemistry)

In recent years, miniaturization technologies, similar to those that produced the 'chips' of electronic integrated circuits, have been adapted to create biological sensors, devices for chemical analysis, and chemical-processing systems in a 'chip-like' format. A revolution similar to that in microelectronics may yield a proliferation of miniaturized chemical sensors, medical diagnostic devices and scientific research tools for the chemistry and biology communities. Increasing interest and activity in miniaturization technologies by industry, government labs and academic research groups has stimulated the need for, and the initiation of, the journal Lab on a Chip.

The aim of this journal is to provide a central resource for information and research results on miniaturization technology associated with chemistry and biology. The initial issues of the journal published a mixture of review articles and original research papers on the components and science associated with miniaturized chemical systems. It addressed 'plumbing', valves, materials and the control of fluid flow in scaled-down geometries or microfluidics. There were also papers on the methods of fabricating these microfluidic systems, which is an area of continuing development.

Lab on a Chip has attracted original papers and review articles from leading research groups. The articles are timely and of good technical quality. To date, the materials, fabrication methods and chemical applications appear to dominate the journal. Researchers and those who wish to stay informed of technological developments in these rapidly evolving areas may find it to be a significant resource. The articles are technical in nature and are appropriate for those with some technological background, as well as those actively working in the field. The journal should be attractive for researchers in the areas of microfluidics, sensors and microchemical analytical systems.

The editors of other technical journals in the areas of lab automation and chemical engineering are recognizing the importance of the miniaturization of analytical systems. Traditional scientific journals will continue to attract leading papers on the scientific advances in miniaturized systems, but Lab on a Chip concentrates on the technological issues associated with fluid handling and the miniaturization of chemical systems. Its 'research highlights' section, which reviews recent publications in the area from other journals such as Nature, Analytical Chemistry, Sensors and Actuators and the Journal of Microelectrochemical Systems, is a helpful central source for keeping abreast of such developments.

Timely publication is important for the use of information in areas of rapid technological development. The journal has an electronic component and promises that papers will be available on the web 4–6 weeks before print publication. It accepts submissions electronically and aims for a rapid turnaround with publication in 120 days.