Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation

Analytical Instrumentation, Methods & Materials
Analytical Instrumentation Methods Materials
Snap-On Microfluidic Lid for Handheld Diagnostics and Chemical Tests
WARF: P110044US01

Inventors: David Beebe, Erwin Berthier, Eric Sackmann, Peter Cavnar, David Guckenberger

The Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF) is seeking commercial partners interested in developing preloaded, easy-to-use microfluidic devices that are inexpensive to manufacture and empower fast analysis in both the lab and field.
Investigation of cells, biochemicals and other samples by microfluidic devices stands to aid a full spectrum of research, from global HIV initiatives to the development of new drugs. Such devices provide efficiency, reducing reagent and cell usage, and enable a high rate of processing and analysis across various experimental conditions.

However, intricate pumping and tubing equipment and sample preparation steps have undercut the wider use of this technology in clinical settings. To realize the vast, empowering potential of microfluidics, new tools must be designed to alleviate labor and complexity.
The Invention
UW–Madison researchers have developed a microfluidic design and method that supports rapid and simplified handheld diagnostics and assays.

The device is formed in two separate sections— a base and a functionalized lid—that can be snapped together. The base has channels running between two ports. The lid, which is disposable and holds a well prepackaged with selected liquids like a drug or chemical, has a piercing mechanism. When pressed to the base, the membrane covering the well is perforated and the substance induced to flow down into the base, through its channels and back up into the lid’s absorption pad.

The functionalized lid can not only pump, but also can be designed to apply a chemical gradient using wells filled with hydrogel and reagents that diffuse into the channels.
  • Personalized, point-of-care diagnostics
  • Biochemical sensing kits
  • Chemotaxis assays
  • Medical research
Key Benefits
  • Operated anywhere
  • Needs no additional equipment or electricity 
  • Inexpensive to manufacture
  • Minimizes time and preparation steps
  • Enables handheld, disposable diagnostics and assays
Additional Information
For More Information About the Inventors
For current licensing status, please contact Jeanine Burmania at [javascript protected email address] or 608-960-9846