Recent developments in nano/micro technology have made it possible to construct small-scale sensing chips for the analysis of biological markers such as nucleic acids, proteins, small molecules, and cells. Although biochip technology for the diagnosis of severe physiological diseases (e.g., cancer, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease) has been extensively studied, biochips for the monitoring of human emotions such as stress, fear, depression, and sorrow have not yet been introduced, and the development of such a biochip is in its infancy. Emotion science (or affective engineering) is a rapidly expanding engineering/scientific discipline that has a major impact on human society. The growing interest in the integration of emotion science and engineering is a result of the recent trend of merging various academic fields. In this paper we discuss the potential importance of biochip technology in which human emotion can be precisely measured in real time using body fluids such as blood, saliva, urine, or sweat. We call these biochips emotion-on-a-chip (EOC). The EOC system consists of four parts: (1) collection of body fluids, (2) separation of emotional markers, (3) detection of optical or electrical signals, and (4) display of results. These techniques provide new opportunities to precisely investigate human emotion. Future developments in EOC techniques will combine social and natural sciences to expand their scope of study.
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