Many common microfluidic devices experience issues with cell seeding due to their small dimensions and need to be seeded using perfusion. Similarly, the diffusion of nutrients, including oxygen, is limited in many common microfluidics also due to small dimensions. Additionally, while immunofluorescence is the main analytical assay compatible with most microfluidics, many microfluidic devices are incompatible with other assays such as western blotting, ELISAs, and rt-PCR.
Technology Overview
The proposed device is a cost-efficient, easy-to-use, transparent fluidic device that can be used to study complex tissues and organs, such as the brain, heart, and gut in an in vitro setting. The device utilizes commonly employed Transwell inserts to create 3-dimensional, multicellular constructs while simultaneously applying controlled levels of fluid flow. Thus, the device can replicate relevant in vivo systems in an in vitro setting, providing a cost-efficient tool with broad customization. Furthermore, with enlarged dimensions compared to common microfluidics, the proposed device eliminates typical problems associated with other microfluidics including cell seeding and nutrient diffusion. 
- Device can be placed on a standard microscope stage for live imaging and real-time studies 
- Device is compatible with molecular assays including fluorescence microscopy, western blotting, ELISAs, and rt-PCR 
- Proper nutrient diffusion (eg. oxygen) will not be an issue 
- Plating cells will be easier and more consistent because this process can be done outside of the fluidic device without the need to perfuse cell suspensions
- Device functions at the millimeter dimension, circumventing difficulties associated with common microfluidics
- Device is reusable
- Modeling and studying the blood-brain barrier, gut, heart, lung, kidney, reproductive tissues such as ovaries, cervix, and vas deferens
- Studying cancer cell intravasation and extravasation in the vasculature or lymphatic system
- Screening therapeutic agents against their target tissues/organs
- Can be used in disease mechanism investigation, and drug discovery
- License
- Partnering
- Research collaboration
Patent Information:
For Information, Contact:
Vaibhav Saini
Senior Manager Commercialization
Northeastern University
Eno Ebong
Ian Harding
Ira Herman
Abigail Koppes
Alex Caraballo