This paper describes how sixteen partners from eight different countries across Europe are working together in two EU projects focused on the development of a point of care system. This system uses disposable Lab on a Chips (LOCs) that carry out the complete assay from sample preparation to result interpretation of raw samples. The LOC is either embedded in a flexible motherboard with the form of a smartcard (Labcard) or in a Skinpatch. The first project, OPTOLABCARD, extended and tested the use of a thick photoresit (SU-8) as a structural material to manufacture LOCs by lamination. This project produced several examples where SU-8 microfluidic circuitry revealed itself as a viable material for several applications, such as the integration on chip of a Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) that includes sample concentration, PCR amplification and optical detection ofSalmonella spp. using clinical samples. The ongoing project, LABONFOIL, is using two results of OPTOLABCARD: the sample concentration method and the capability to fabricate flexible and ultra thin LOCs based on sheets instead of wafers. This rupture from the limited and expensive wafer surface heritage allows the development of a platform where LOCs are big enough to include all the sample preparation subcomponents at a low price. These LOCs will be used in four point of care applications: environment, food, cancer and drug monitoring. The user will obtain the results of the tests by connecting the Labcard/Skinpatch reader to a very popular interface (a smartphone), creating a new instrument namely “The SmartBioPhone™”. All standard smartphone capabilities will be at the disposal of the point of care instrument by a simple click. In order to guarantee the future mass production of these LOCs, the project will develop a large dry film equipment where LOCs will be fabricated at a low cost.
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