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MCL Microfluidic-Disc Technology

Multi-step laboratory analysis, used throughout the scientific arena, is expensive and time-intensive. Maxwell Sensorsí patented microfluidic disc approach reduces the multi-step, multi-analyte assay into a single, accurate, computer-driven procedure using miniaturization, integration and total automation technology.


   ►   Technology


The Microfluidic Chemiluminescence (MCL)-Disc is designed to automate multi-step immunoassay and nucleic acid assay on a small cartridge platform. The disc contains all the necessary reagents and solutions in microliter volumes. The microfluidic system utilizes a micro-actuator to release reagents from compartments and controls both fluid dynamics and multi-step biochemical reactions, reducing the complicated operational procedure to a single step.


The sequence of the fluid dynamics and biochemical reactions depends on the specific bioassay.  During the assay procedure the actuator sequentially transfers a pocket of reagent from one microwell to another, initiates chemical reactions, mixes the reagents, rinses off unbound species, and removes residual solution into a waste reservoir.


The microfluidic system uses a central microprocessor to control the modular components: micro-actuator (fluid delivery), rotational stage (mixing), magnet (purification), peltier heater and cooler (amplification), vacuum line (waste removing), detector (signal detection), data acquisition system, and so on.  All of the components are integrated onto the portable system. The disc is placed on a rotational stage, which positions a specific microwell under the actuator. The system sequentially delivers reagents into the reaction well, mixes, incubates, and then removes the solution away to an external waste reservoir. The system can reliably deliver the liquid with near 100% efficiency and accuracy.





MCL Disc




The schematic shows the ELISA-Disc sandwich immunoassay protocol.  (A) Before and (B) after delivery of the sample to the reaction wells, (C) Removal of unbound species by washing, and delivery of the enzyme conjugates, (D) Removal of unbound species by washing, and delivery of the enzyme substrate. The color change (ELISA) or chemiluminescence occurs only at the reaction wells where the sandwich immuno-complex, Ab-Ag-Ab*, that indicates positive identification, is formed.



   ►   Advantages


MSI has combined chemiluminescence with an improved approach to current microfluidics technology. 


        Its proprietary 3-D microfluidic configuration eliminates a common problem associated with microfluidics - dead volumes or air bubbles trapped inside the microfluidic system.

        The operating procedure is totally automated and easy enough to be used by personnel with minimal training.

        Simultaneous multi-analyte testing on the same disc saves substantial time compared with conventional sequential analyte tests.

        MSIís technology is offered at a much lower cost than other microfluidics systems available in the marketplace.



   ►   Applications


Microfluidic disc technology can apply to any laboratory setting.   


        Drug Development - Only one-tenth of the drug compounds that enter the clinical trial phase become commercially available at an average cost of $800 million per approved drug. As a result, pharmaceutical companies are constantly searching for faster, more accurate and less costly methods to discover drugs likely to survive clinical testing. MSIís microfluidic disc technology can dramatically improve target screening throughput.


        Diagnostic Testing Ė At the present time, many diagnostic tests require multiple laboratory steps to reach an accurate conclusion. MSIís microfluidic disc technology can improve the speed of diagnostic testing while lowering the price.


        Critical Care - Diagnosing chest pain in the acute care setting requires immediate testing for cardiac enzyme markers. Today, the choices are to utilize central lab testing at a typical 60 minute turn around time or perform faster bedside testing that cannot be compared with later central lab test results due to different testing protocols.  Cardiac care can be measurably improved by reducing turnaround time for cardiac enzyme testing and utilizing identical protocols across all testing modalities, using MSI micro fluidic disc technology.


        Other applications - DNA chip, proteomics, molecular medicines, nucleic acid micro extraction and purification, cell surface and intracellular protein targets analysis, cellular protein expression, fluorescence, and chemiluminescence.


   ►   For More Information


Contact Maxwell Sensors to discuss how our Micro Fluidics Disc technology can benefit  your organization.



© Maxwell Sensors Inc. 2002 ~ 2012