The Utz research group specializes in the science and engineering of multifunctional micro-systems, mainly in view of applications in the life sciences. Our major focus lies on integrating nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy with microfluidic devices. We are also interested in structure–property relationships of micro-structured materials, as well as the design, fabrication, and operation of microfluidic networks.
NMR spectroscopy is an extremely versatile and powerful tool, with widespread applications in organic chemistry, structural biology, medical diagnostics, and materials science.
Our research aims to enable the observation of the metabolome of biological systems (live cells, cell extracts, or small organisms) in microfluidic lab-on-a-chip devices by high-resolution NMR spectroscopy. Fabricated by lithographic methods similar to microelectronics, LOC devices allow the manipulation and analysis of complex biological systems on a compact, expendable platform.
The integration of NMR spectroscopy with microfluidics poses a number of interesting technical and scientific challenges. This has produced a multi-disciplinary research environment in our research group, with work spanning many fields from radio frequency electronics and micro fabrication to physical chemistry and spectroscopy.