μTAS 1996

μTAS 19962nd International Symposium on Miniaturized Total Analysis Systems

Chair

H. Michael Widmer

(1933-1997)

Memories of symposium

Sadly, we cannot ask Michael about his memories of the workshop, but amazingly, we have two sources, that give us a glimpse. The program of the symposium with a list of oral and poster presentations was published in [Chimia, 1996, 50, 467-471]; and Michael wrote a detailed report after the symposium in the same journal [Chimia, 1997, 51, 12-13].

μTAS 1996 took place in conjunction with the International Exhibition and Conference for Chemical Technology, Analytical Technology and Biotechnology (ilmac). A key goal was ‘to bring together the research and industry community in the field.’ Michael emphasized the development of micro-capillary electrophoresis systems, miniaturized pumping systems and the upcoming use of cheap to manufacture polymer materials. Michael predicted that μTAS systems would be on the market in 2-5 years. Indeed, the Caliper Bioanalzyer was commercialized in 1999, three years after the symposium! Spot on!

Attendees

There were 14 plenary lecturers from Japan, the US, Canada, Sweden, Germany, the Netherlands, the UK and Switzerland. Of the submitted abstracts, 33 were selected for oral presentation, 49 for posters and 16 were rejected.

Due to a large response the meeting was run for 3.5 days, instead of the initially planned 2 days. Michael Widmer reported 450 participants from 33 countries, including Switzerland (117), Germany (92), USA (54), UK (24), Netherlands (22), Japan (20) and  Sweden (12) [Chimia, 1997]. Later μTAS chairs put the number at 275.

Topics

  • concepts of μTAS technology, optical detection
  • fluidics
  • bioanalytical systems
  • CE and biochemical analysis
  • systems for DNA analysis

Proceedings

The original proceedings were a soft-bound A4-sized booklet. The proceedings as seen on the photo above were re-printed in 2006 in the more traditional μTAS book format with 259 pages. The author index had 337 entries.

Social Events

We could not find a record of the social events during microTAS 1996, but given the success of the meeting, we can maybe assume that Michael was as happy as captured on this photo.