Skip to Content

  • Age:

    Helene Andersson

    With two degrees and three part-time jobs, Helene Andersson is bridging disciplines to build and market microprocessor-size laboratories. As Stockholm, Sweden-based startup Silex Microsystems, she serves as business manager and designs custom “labs-on-a-chip” for commercial uses ranging from bedside medical testing to detecting chemical and biological attacks. And the electrical engineer and molecular biotechnologist is exploring other applications in her work at Sweden’s Royal Institute of Technology and at Mesa+, a research institute in the Netherlands. As a doctoral student, Andersson developed production techniques for efficiently manufacturing the microlabs, and designed ever smaller pumps, valves, and other components for them. Several of her patented microstructures “boldly demonstrate to bioanalytical researchers the great advantages of microlabs,” says Mesa+ professor Albert van den Berg. These advantages include portability, speed, and economy. Andersson’s life is hectic, but she plans to continue all her pursuits. “It suits me very well,” she says, “to explore new things and learn how to do business with them at the same time.”