Tuning up a lab-on-a-chip

Music could be the driving force behind a new approach to so-called lab-on-a-chip devices or microelectromechanical systems (MEMS). Rather than use complex electromechanical valves, a team at the University of Michigan Ann Arbor is using sound waves to drive a unique pneumatic system. Musical notes produce the required air pressure to control the movement of tiny droplets of sample through the device. The approach could make a reality of a device the size of an iPhone on to which you could sneeze and it would tell you if you have influenza, the researchers say. They don't discuss whether it would work best with classical tunes or heavy metal though.