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Improved Microfluidic Device Systems

Researchers developed new technologoes to enable the creation of microfluidic devices with connections that are straightforward and originate from the same side of the device, which can be critical for high throughput, automation studies.

CUSTOMER PROBLEM:
Microfluidic (microchips) device systems are becoming widely used analytical tools for a variety of applications.  Microfluidic device systems have numerous advantages, one of which is the integration of multiple processes such as coupling off-chip processes to the microchip devices as well as integrating multiple processes on-chip.  Using microfluidic devices for certain types of integration can result in minimal dilution, fast analysis, and improved temporal resolution so that changes in analyte concentration can be monitored in close to real-time.   However, they currently experience many limitations including dead volume at the fluidic interconnections, misalignment of device features, dilution, long analysis time, low temporal resolution, connection complexity, device fragility, and instability of fluidic interconnections.

POTENTIAL MARKET USES:
There is a need for microfluidic devices and methods of fabricating microfluidic devices.  The likely end-users or target customers for this technology are analytical instrument product designers.  Potential applications for the technology include continuous-flow microfluidics, droplet-based microfluidics, DNA chips and microarrays, clinical assays on devices, molecular biology, cell behavior and cellular biophysics, optics, fuel cells, and inkjet print heads for biosensors and tissue engineering.

STAGE OF DEVELOPMENT:
The technology is currently at TRL-4 (Technology Readiness Level). System concepts have been considered and test results are available from laboratory-scale breadboard(s) or prototype(s).

COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGES:
Companies with relevant technology or commercial products include Agilent Technologies, Caliper Life Sciences, Fluidigm, Microchips Biotech, Orchid Cellmark, S.E.A. Medical Systems, Waters Corporation.

Additional Details

Owner

Saint Louis University

Intellectual Property Protection

Pending Patent



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