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The FPC@DCU is implementing a programme of joint research and development with Fraunhofer IPT organised in two segments: Core Platform and Pilot Applications. This work is funded under the Strategic Partnership Programme award from Science Foundation Ireland in collaboration with Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft.


Core Platform

A foundational design, manufacturing and testing will be implemented within a joint development environment (JDE) across DCU and Fraunhofer IPT. Developments carried out in the Core Platform programme include:


Platform components

  • Definition and design rules for a set of select flow control modules, e.g. pumping, valving and routing
  • Definition and design rules for a select set laboratory unit operations (LUOs) for sample preparation
  • Definition of a set of detection schemes
  • Specification of test protocols for microfluidic and bioanalytical functionality



  • Transition from prototyping to medium- and large-scale manufacture
  • Validation of structural / dimensional fidelity and possible artefacts
  • Physico-chemical surface properties
  • Biofunctional surface properties
  • Selection of materials, their storage and production conditions
  • Specification of materials, manufacturing environment, and transport conditions


Development tools

  • Process knowledge base documented by Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs)
  • Microfluidic test stands
  • Software development tools supporting Design for Manufacture (DfM)
  • Bioanalytical validation tools


Pilot Applications

This core »Lab-on-a-Disc« platform will be advanced to establish three demonstrators for pilot applications which address the predominant bioanalytical test formats in the target markets of the FPC@DCU:


  • Immunoassays & small molecules
  • Nucleic acid testing
  • Cell analysis & counting


The specific assay targets in each case are the subject of open discussions with potential industry partners, who have an opportunity to set the direction for these pilots. For further information, please contact Dr. Conor Burke, Head of Business Development and Operations –