Microfluidic Devices with Tunable Microtopography
Introduction Microfluidic devices are critical components of many biomedical and bioanalytical instruments and allow for probing chemical and physical phenomena at the micron scale. Most current microfluidic devices, however, have the inherent functional limitation that the cross-sectional channel geometry, which determines the fluid flow patterns, is essentially constant at any given point in the channel. Hence its functionality is fixed or can only be changed by changing the flow rate. Technology description Researchers at the UW have developed a technology which enables complex microfluidic devices with functional/tunable microstructures embedded. The microstructures can be activated to manipulate flow patterns or objects and can be eliminated when not needed. Business opportunity The technology can be incorporated into microfluidic devices with self-contained micro-elements that have a higher level of integration, control and versatility. It is less expensive to produce when compared to the conventional microfluidic technologies. Stage of development Prototypes have been made. Intellectual property position The UW is currently reviewing this technology for patent protection.
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