2016 was a busy year. One major science animation produced by Magipics in that year was a presentation on NAPES: Next Generation Analytical Platforms for Environmental Sensing. NAPES is a European research consortium, which aims to create low cost deployable, autonomous environmental sensor platforms. These platforms will provide highly specific detection methods for determination of bacterial contaminants and chemical pollutants that can contaminate water supplies.
The animation primarily focusses on Microfluidics, which “deals with the behaviour, precise control and manipulation of fluids that are geometrically constrained to a small, typically sub-millimeter, scale. [Microfluidics] is a multidisciplinary field at the intersection of engineering, physics, chemistry, biochemistry, nanotechnology, and biotechnology” (quoted from Wikipedia).
Here are some of the aspects of Microfluidics visualized in the animation:
The ongoing evolution of Microfluidics is in many ways similar to the progressive miniaturization of electronics. Microfluidics deals with ways to manipulate fluids at a very small (less than a millimetre) scale, so a microfluidic chip can in some ways be viewed as metaphor for an electronic circuit.
Methods for transporting and mixing the fluids, and detect/measure fluid components can often be found by studying how nature has solved such issues. Thus, one section of the animation describes parallell situations in the human body, such as the circulatory systems and immune response.
One very promising means of directing the fluid flow is the use of photosensitive polymers, which can be used to open and close valves in the microfluidic channels, and turn on/off the mixing of fluids.
One challenge in this project was the distance: carrying out the work in Australia (and briefly in Sweden) while the client was located in Dublin, Ireland. But no distances are too great thanks to Skype!
The animation is silent, as the client provides their own narration in presentations.
However, the captions should make it relatively easy to follow.
I hope you find it interesting!