EID - Virtual Vials

About the project

Virtual Vials is an EID project between Technion and IBM–Zurich, aimed at developing novel tools for biomolecular analysis and training the next generation of scientists and engineers who likely will translate the technologies and discoveries into practical use for the benefit of society and the EU hi-tech sector. In vitro diagnostics is experiencing critical shifts in paradigms with a growing market which encompasses clinical laboratory tests, point-of-care devices, and basic research aimed at understanding the origin of diseases and developing improved testing and treatments. The development of novel tools, which enable increased analysis speeds, higher sensitivity, higher throughput, miniaturization, and portability are essential for enabling discoveries and providing better care for patients. Our project includes three distinct yet synergetic projects for advancing biomolecular analysis. Each project is intended as a PhD project that integrates specific skills and know-how from Technion and IBM.

The EID team

Moran Bercovici

mberco@technion.ac.il

Moran is an Associate Professor at the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering at Technion - Israel Institute of Technology.   He serves as the Coordinator for the project, and is the academic adviser of the PhD trainees. 

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Govind Kaigala

gov@zurich.ibm.gov

Dr. Govind Kaigala is a Research Staff Member in the Science & Technology department of IBM Research–Zurich.   He serves as the Industrial Partner for the project, and as an academic adviser for the PhD trainees. 

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Xander van Kooten

xvankooten@technion.ac.il

Xander van Kooten is a PhD student working on electrokinetic techniques to enable on-chip detection of low-concentration analytes (co-advised by Dr. Govind Kaigala, IBM Research - Zurich)

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Nadya Ostromohov

nadyaos@technion.ac.il

Nadya Ostromohov is a PhD student working on developing electrokinetic and microfluidic methods for advanced biomolecular analysis of surface based samples (co-advised by Dr. Govind Kaigala, IBM Research - Zurich).

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Federico Paratore

paratore@tx.technion.ac.il

Federico is a PhD student currently working on flow patterning using non-uniform electroomotic flow (co-advised by Dr. Govind Kaigala, IBM Research - Zurich)

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Publications

Peer-reviewed journal publications
  1. Paratore F., Boyko E., Kaigala G. V. and Bercovici M., "Shaping Microscale Flows Using Non-Uniform Surface Charge", under consideration (2018).

  2. Ostromohov N., Huber D., Bercovici M., and Kaigala G.V., "Real-time monitoring of fluorescence in situ hybridization kinetics", Analytical  Chemistry 2018, 90, 11470−11477.

    • Featured on the front coverpage of the journal

  3. Arshavsky-Graham S., Massad-Ivanir N., Paratore F., Scheper T., Bercovici M. and Segal E., On Chip Protein Pre-Concentration for Enhancing the Sensitivity of Porous Silicon Biosensors, ACS Sensors, 2 (12), 1767–1773 (2017).

  4. van Kooten, X.F., Bercovici, M & Kaigala, G.V., Extraction of electrokinetically separated analytes with on-demand encapsulation, Lab on a Chip, DOI: 10.1039/c8lc00912k (2018).

  5. Kooten, X.F. van, Truman-Rosentsvit, M., Kaigala, G.V. & Bercovici, M. Focusing analytes from 50 μL into 500 pL: On-chip focusing from large sample volumes using isotachophoresis. Scientific Reports 7, 10467 (2017).

  6. Paratore, F., Zeidman Kalman, T., Rosenfeld, T., Kaigala, G.V. & Bercovici, M. Isotachophoresis-Based Surface Immunoassay. Analytical Chemistry 89, 7373-7381 (2017).

    • Featured on the front coverpage of the journal

  7. Ostromohov, N., Bercovici, M. & Kaigala, G. Delivery of minimally dispersed liquid interfaces for sequential surface chemistry. Lab on a Chip 16, 3015–3023 (2016).

    • Featured on the back cover of the journal

​Refereed papers in conference proceedings
  1. Paratore F., Bacheva V., Rubin S., Bercovici M. and Kaigala G. V., "Diffusion-Based Separation Using Non-Uniform Electroosmotic Flow", Proceedings of the 22nd International Conference on Miniaturized Systems for Chemistry and Life Sciences (microTAS2018), Kaohsiung, Taiwan, Nov 11–15, 2018.

  2. Paratore F., Boyko E., Gat A., Kaigala G. V. and Bercovici M., "Toward Microscale Flow Control Using Non-Uniform Electro-Osmotic Flow", Proceedings of SPIE 10491, Microfluidics, BioMEMS, and Medical Microsystems XVI, 104910P, SPIE BiOS, San Francisco, California, United States, 2018.

  3. Paratore F., Kaigala G. V., and Bercovici M., “Patterning electro-osmotic flow using non-uniform surface charge in a Hele-Shaw cell”, Proceedings of the 21th International Conference on Miniaturized Systems for Chemistry and Life Sciences (microTAS2017), Georgia, USA, October 22-26, 2017.

  4. Ostromohov N., Bercovici M., and Kaigala G. V., “Electrokinetic scanning probe for biomolecular analysis”, Proceedings of the 21th International Conference on Miniaturized Systems for Chemistry and Life Sciences (microTAS2017), Georgia, USA, October 22-26, 2017.

  5. Huber, D., Ostromohov, N., and Kaigala G.V., "µFISH for rapid chromosomal interrogation of tissue sections", 43rd International Conference on Micro and Nanoengineering 2017, The Iberian Nanotechnology Laboratory, Braga, Portugal, September 18-22, 2017.

  6. Paratore F., Zeidman-Kalman, T., Rosenfeld T., Kaigala G.V., and Bercovici M., “Isotachoporesis based surface immunoassay”.  Proceedings of the 20th International Conference on Miniaturized Systems for Chemistry and Life Sciences (microTAS2016), Dublin, Ireland, October 9-13, 2016.

  7. van Kooten X.F., Truman-Rosentsvit M., Kaigala G.V., and Bercovici M., “Focusing analytes from 10 uL into 500pL: on-chip processing of large volumes using isotachophoresis”. Proceedings of the 20th International Conference on Miniaturized Systems for Chemistry and Life Sciences (microTAS2016), Dublin, Ireland, October 9-13, 2016.

  8. Ostromohov N., Bercovici M., and Kaigala G. V., “Delivery of Minimally Dispersed Liquid Interfaces for Sequential Surface Chemistry”, Proceedings of the 20th International Conference on Miniaturized Systems for Chemistry and Life Sciences (microTAS2016), Dublin, Ireland, October 9-13, 2016.

Patents

  1. Bercovici M., Gökçe O., Kaigala, Frank van Kooten X.F. , Paratore, F.  "Electrokinetically separating, encapsulating and extracting analytes on a microfluidic device", US 16/108654, August 2018.

  2. Bercovici M., Paratore F., Rubin S., Kaigala G., "Device and Methods for flow control using electro-osmotic flow”, Provisional Patent Application, June 2017.

  3. Kaigala G., Bercovici M., Ostormohov N., “Device and Method for Electrokinetic Delivery and Extraction”, Provisional Patent Application, 62/526,378, June 2017.

  4. Kaigala G.V., Bercovici M., Ostromohov, N., "Characterizing kinetic responses of a ligand-functionalized surface", Patent Application 15/627,512, June 2017.

  5. Bercovici M., Kaigala G., van Kooten X., Ostromohov N., Paratore F., “Device and method for isotachophoretic focusing of large sample volumes”, WO 2018065985A1, October 2016.

  6. Kaigala G., Bercovici M., Ostromohov N., van Kooten X., Paratore F., “Direct measurement of biomolecular kinetic responses on surfaces using the microfluidic probe”, Provisional Patent Application, July 2016.

Fellows participation in conferences and additional dissemination

  1. Nadya attended and Presented a poster at the Swiss Nano-convention, Basel, June 30 - July 1,  2016. 

  2. Federico and Xander participated in the PhD Summer School: Micro- and Nano Sensors, Kongens Lyngby,  Denmark, Aug 15 - 26, 2016.

  3. Nadya attended and presented an ortal talk at the 20th International Conference on Miniaturized Systems for Chemistry and Life Sciences (microTAS2016), Dublin, Ireland, October 9-13, 2016.

  4. Nadya and Federico attended and presented a poster at the Physics of Microfluidics Seminar, Sde Boker, Israel, Jan 3-8, 2017. 

  5. Nadya attended and presented an oral talk (awarded best talk) at the Batsheva de Rothschild Seminar on Biosensing, Ein Gedi, Israel, Feb 12-16 2017. Receives  Best Oral Presentation Prize.

  6. Federico presented an oral and poster presentation at the Flow17 Micro and nanofluidics fundamentals and applications, Paris, France, July 3-5, 2017. 

  7. Nadya and Xander each attended and presented  at the 2018 EMBL Microfluidics Conference, July 15-17, 2018. 

  8. Federico attended and presented an oral talk at the Gordon Research Seminar on Oscillation and Dynamic Instabilities in Chemical Systems, Les Diablerets, Switzerland, Jul 7, 2018.

  9. Federico attended and presented a poster at the Gordon Research Conference on Oscillation and Dynamic Instabilities in Chemical Systems, Les Diablerets, Switzerland, Jul 08-13, 2018.

  10. Xander attended and presented an oral talk at the 2018 Micro and Nano Engineering Conference, Copenhagen, Sep 24-27, 2018.

  • The work of PI Bercovici and his team is often featured in central media outlets.  For example, in the past two years, it was featured on prime-time TV (Channel 10), as a 3-page article in the most popular weekend newspaper (Yediot), in a popular radio interview (with Yael Dan), and in the most popular Israeli online news website (Ynet). PI Bercovici also gives frequent public talks to audiences of all ages, from kindergartens, through highschools to museums and pubs ('science on the bar' program). 

  • PI Kaigala along with the team actively participates in an events regularly hosted at IBM such as "kids day," “press day,” "national future day" and other activities part of dissemination to a broader community.  They are also actively involved in sharing their work at large tradeshows, for example at CeBIT in Hannover in 2014, and at “Parlamentarischen Abend” in 2015 in Berlin, and also in Nanotech Montreux in 2015 & 2016.

uTAS group pic