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Valves in Microfluidic Cartridges

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In a single-use cartridge for the point of care, why use pneumatic control of on-board diaphragm valves in the cartridge when a linear actuator against a flexible layer works just as well? This question was recently posed by a client as they consider their development path from proof of concept. They envision a couple of different product use environments, one involving a benchtop instrument, and another a portable handheld using battery power. In some cases, the answer might just boil down to personal preference. But from a development perspective,  pneumatically controlled on-board valves offer more flexibility in design of the cartridge….

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New Board of Directors

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I am very pleased to announce the appointment of four new members to the Board of Directors: Rob Randelman, Bruce Sargeant, Steve Schaefers, and Joe Stetter. Each person brings a valuable perspective to the board including FDA design control expertise, supply chain management, international business development, and world class scientific expertise in electrochemistry. Each member is distinguished in their respective careers and well regarded within the business communities they serve. Each has been involved in the growth of high tech businesses. Their combined expertise brings a unique strength to the board, and I feel very fortunate to have their support. Their breadth of…

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It’s a Materials World

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What happens between a surface and a fluid stream can lead to foul play. That’s why I’m a materials girl. The complex physics and chemistry of surfaces is an important consideration in any product development, and is particularly important for microfluidic systems where the high surface area to volume ‘concentrates’ the effect of the surface. The choice of materials should be taken into consideration during the early design of microfluidic devices to enable applications including cell culture, immunoassays, or nucleic acid amplification. With sophisticated workflows for immuno-analysis, materials impact assay sensitivity, limit of detection, fluid circuit functional performance, and shelf-life….

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A Systems Approach to Microfluidics Products

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One of the complexities of Microfluidics Product Development is the need to integrate the functional performance of a variety of dissimilar components. It involves a combination of science, engineering, and materials science to create a robust product solution. Ultimately, any product that performs tests and measurements is fundamentally an information producing system, and the quality of the information depends on how well each of it’s disparate components are harmonized to become ‘more than the sum of the parts’.

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