Lab-on-a-chip devices may soon get a boost from smaller power sources enabled by a super-thin silicon membrane, according to this article. The small electro-osmotic pumps ideal for such applications now require bulky power sources, compromising the key advantage of lab-on-a-chip technology, which is field portability. The new membrane "works in the range of one-quarter of a volt, which means it can be integrated into devices and powered with small batteries," said one of the University of Rochester researchers, James McGrath, an associate professor of biomedical engineering.

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