Cell and Microparticle Separator Employing Patterned Grooves
Introduction Microscale enrichment and separation are important for various research, biomedical, and industrial uses. Conventional means for these processes typically require specific labels—
either inherent to the structure or appended to it. Unfortunately, not every important substrate has a convenient label of its own, such as stem cells, and it costs additional time and money to develop and append appropriate and effective labels, such as antibody tags and magnetic beads. Sometimes, all that is required is to utilize the substrate’s natural physical characteristics, such as size. Technology Description Professor Gao at the University of Washington has developed a microfluidic separator that can enrich and separate cells or microparticles in suspension according to their size. Sample is flowed within a microchannel over novel patterned grooves that enable the selective enriching or separating of structures based on size alone. Business Opportunity The ability to effectively enrich and separate cells and microparticles based on size presents opportunities in biomedical research and therapy and in industrial processes. The technology is compact and suitable as a tool for Lab-on-a-Chip technologies and other microfluidic assemblies. Stage of Development A working prototype of this device has been developed. Intellectual Property Position The UW is currently reviewing this technology for worldwide patent protection.
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