A complete laboratory, no bigger than a pill. ‘Lab-on-a-Chip’ nanotechnology makes this possible. In future, a patient will simply swallow the mini-lab which will monitor the levels of various substances in the body and transmit the results directly to the doctor. Researchers from BIOS, the Lab-on-a-Chip department within the MESA+ research institute, are developing this revolutionary form of nanotechnology. It represents a huge scientific advance, for which Professor Albert van den Berg was awarded the Spinoza Prize, the Netherlands’ most prestigious scientific award, in 2009.

Twente researchers are now working on various applications for the Lab-on-a-Chip. To date, they have produced a fertility test for men and a chip which helps patients with manic depression to manage their own medication. Another ongoing project focuses on a 'nanopill' which can detect bowel cancer.