Technologies
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WARF: P01417US

Method of Performing Gradient-Based Assays in a Microfluidic Device


INVENTORS -

David Beebe, Glenn Walker

The Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF) is seeking commercial partners interested in developing a method for performing gradient-based, high throughput assays in a microfluidic device.
OVERVIEWGradient-based chemical and biological assays are often performed in multi-well plates. Although each well holds only a few microliters, with hundreds of wells per plate and several plates, the volume of needed reagents quickly becomes expensive and time-consuming to produce. And when large numbers of reagent concentrations are used, gradient-based assays often require specialized equipment to generate the various reagent concentrations, fill the wells and transport the plates to a desired location for readout.
THE INVENTIONUW-Madison researchers have developed a method for performing gradient-based, high throughput assays in a microfluidic device. The method involves passing two fluids through a channel in a microfluidic system. The first fluid contains a predetermined concentration of particles. Particles from this fluid diffuse into the second fluid, creating a concentration gradient of particles in the second fluid as it flows through the channel. The second fluid intersects a series of targets along the channel wall. Because a gradient in a microchannel is equivalent to a multi-well plate containing thousands of wells, this method is simpler, faster, more efficient and less expensive than traditional high throughput assay systems.
APPLICATIONS
  • Drug screening
  • Optimization of chemical reactions
  • Polymer synthesis
KEY BENEFITS
  • Economical -- because a gradient can be established within a few hundred nanoliters, only a fraction of the reagents used in traditional systems are needed
  • Fast -- requires only a fraction of the time needed for traditional high throughput assay systems
  • Cost-effective -- eliminates need for expensive robotic systems and accessories
  • Efficient -- filling and observing one microchannel is equivalent to filling and observing many multi-well plates
  • An almost infinite number of concentrations of molecules or particles can be tested against a biological or chemical target
  • Allows more precise identification of optimum particle concentration
ADDITIONAL INFORMATION
For More Information About the Inventors
Contact Information
For current licensing status, please contact Jeanine Burmania at jeanine@warf.org or 608-960-9846.
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Since its founding in 1925 as the patenting and licensing organization for the University of Wisconsin-Madison, WARF has been working with business and industry to transform university research into products that benefit society. WARF intellectual property managers and licensing staff members are leaders in the field of university-based technology transfer. They are familiar with the intricacies of patenting, have worked with researchers in relevant disciplines, understand industries and markets, and have negotiated innovative licensing strategies to meet the individual needs of business clients.