WARF: P110347US01

Improved Self-Loading Microfluidic Device for Determining Effective Antibiotic Dose and Other Chemical and Biological Assays


Douglas Weibel, Nathaniel Cira

The Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF) is seeking commercial partners interested in developing a microfluidic device and method for determining the minimum inhibitory concentration of an antibiotic.
OVERVIEWThe minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) of a compound is the lowest dose that prevents the growth of a cell during a set time interval. Because of the increase in antibiotic-resistant bacteria and the slowdown in discovery of new antibiotics, determination of the MIC or susceptibility of antibiotics against microbes has become very important for increasing the longevity of clinical antibiotics. Determining the MIC of antibiotics against bacteria generally is performed using diffusion or dilution methods; however, diffusion-based assays are slow and insensitive and dilution-based assays, although accurate, are very slow and labor intensive. Microfluidic technology addresses some of these drawbacks, but also brings its own disadvantages. Alternative microfluidic devices and methods of using these devices to determine the MIC and susceptibility of antibiotics and for identifying bacterial strains are needed.
THE INVENTIONUW–Madison researchers have developed a portable, self-loading microfluidic device and method for determining therapeutically effective amounts of agents, MICs and toxicity levels. It can be used to identify bacterial strains and for performing chemical and biological assays. The device comprises a porous organic polymer, a reaction well, an inlet port, a vacuum well, a main channel and a side channel. 
  • Determining MIC and antibiotic susceptibility
  • Identification of pathogenic strains of bacteria and other microbes
  • Various chemical and biological assays
  • Reduces the number of steps for determining MICs and antibiotic susceptibility
  • Reduces the cost and time of the assay
  • Improves sensitivity/resolution
  • Does not require external instruments
STAGE OF DEVELOPMENTMIC, susceptibility and bacterial identification measurements have been obtained using this microfluidic device.
For More Information About the Inventors
Related Intellectual Property
  • Cira N.J., Ho J.Y., Dueck M.E. and Weibel D.B. 2011. A Self-Loading Microfluidic Device for Determining the Minimum Inhibitory Concentration of Antibiotics. Lab Chip. DOI: 10.1039/c2lc20887c
Contact Information
For current licensing status, please contact Jeanine Burmania at or 608-960-9846.
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