Microfluidic opportunities in the field of nutrition
Nutrition has always been closely related to human health, which is a constant motivational force driving research in a variety of disciplines. Over the years, the rapidly emerging field of microfluidics has been pushing forward the healthcare industry with the development of microfluidic-based, point-of-care (POC) diagnostic devices. Though a great deal of work has been done in developing microfluidic platforms for disease diagnoses, potential microfluidic applications in the field of nutrition remain largely unexplored. In this Focus article, we would like to investigate the potential chances for microfluidics in the field of nutrition. We will first highlight some of the recent advances in microfluidic blood analysis systems that have the capacity to detect biomarkers of nutrition. Then we will examine existing examples of microfluidic devices for the detection of specific biomarkers of nutrition or nutrient content in food. Finally, we will discuss the challenges in this field and provide some insight into the future of applied microfluidics in nutrition.