Indiana life-sciences firm develops programmable lab-on-a-chip system

Published: May 16, 2012

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Life-science researchers in academic institutions and industry can use a newly developed system to program lab-on-a-chip devices for experiments at a sub-millimeter scale rather than use custom devices.

Microfluidic Innovations LLC has developed and manufactured a system to help researchers perform experiments at a microfluidic scale using its PLoC (Programmable Lab on a Chip) device and its AssayMark controller and software. The firm is based in the Purdue Research Park of West Lafayette.

Ahmed Amin, CEO of Microfluidic Innovations, said researchers who want to conduct new experiments or move existing experiments to the microfluidic level currently have two technology options, both with drawbacks.

"They can look at the existing market, which has a limited choice of technology, and then modify their science to suit the device they use. This choice is not optimal in terms of the data they get," he said. "The second option is to go to a custom manufacturer and start from scratch, which can take months or years and tens of thousands of dollars."

Amin said Microfluidic Innovations' system is programmable, allowing researchers to control the experiments they conduct.

"We're trying to bring a shift in how researchers can use lab-on-a-chip devices," he said. "The user will have control over the chip, not vice versa."

Microfluidic Innovations' system, which was developed by researchers at Purdue University and Indiana University, includes the following features:

* Variable volume/variable ratio mixing

* Cascaded/extreme ratio mixing

* Incubation

* Automatic fluid routing and on-chip pumping

* Compatibility with optical detection devices

Amin and his colleagues have used the system to conduct experiments on glucose level detection, particle sorting, enzyme studies and other chemical reactions. Amin said the company will also add support for electrochemical detection and magnetic beads.

For more information on Microfluidic Innovations' technology, call 765-421-6350 or visit http://www.microfluidicinnovations.com

About Microfluidic Innovations LLC

Microfluidic Innovations aims to provide a flexible, automated, software-programmable, multi-purpose lab-on-a-chip platform for scientists and researchers who are developing new microfluidic assays in drug discovery, genomics, proteomics and cell-based research.

About Purdue Research Park

The Purdue Research Park, with four locations across Indiana, has the largest university-affiliated business incubation complex in the country. The park network is home to about 200 companies that employ 4,000 people and are located in West Lafayette, Merrillville, Indianapolis and New Albany.

Purdue Research Park contact:

Steve Martin, 765-588-3342, sgmartin@prf.org

Source:

Ahmed Amin, ahmed@microfluidicinnovations.com

PHOTO CAPTION:

Microfluidic Innovations LLC, based in the Purdue Research Park, has developed and manufactured a system that includes its AssayMark controller and its PLoC (Programmable Lab on a Chip) device. The system allows researchers to program the device to run experiments rather than using customized technology. (Purdue Research Foundation photo/Vincent Walter)