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Why Microfluidics?

July 20, 2020 – Why Microfluidics?

Spectradyne’s microfluidic resistive pulse sensing (MRPS) is a modern implementation of a well-established technique generically termed “resistive pulse sensing” (RPS), also known as the Coulter principle. The Coulter principle has been the gold standard method for cell and other particle counting for decades, although until our recent innovations, its performance has been limited to the micron regime, above the size ranges where virus, extracellular vesicles (EVs) and nanomedicines live.

So how has Spectradyne advanced this well-proven gold standard to reach 50 nm and smaller? One answer is microfluidics! Embedding the fundamental RPS technique into a disposable microfluidic cartridge enables the incorporation of key engineering features that deliver powerful benefits users love.

Spectradyne’s microfluidic cartridge enables fast and reliable measurements using only 3 microliters of your precious sample.

  • Extremely small sample volume enables completely new science. Since only 3 microliters of your precious sample are required (or even less, if you’ve got good pipetting hands!), the nCS1 has been used to quantify extracellular vesicles (EVs) in insect saliva — try doing that with another measurement technique!
  • Embedded filters enable direct measurements of complex biological samples — including blood plasma! As an example, see this poster from Pfizer Inc., showing quantitative analysis of nanoparticles in mouse plasma. The upstream filters embedded into each cartridge enable smooth measurements of this type of sample over long measurement times.
  • Highly consistent cartridge features like the sensing constriction itself ensure accurate, repeatable results every time. Cartridges are produced using computer chip manufacturing technology, with highly controlled features as small as a few hundred nanometers on a side. This level of control eliminates arduous calibration procedures required for other implementations of RPS: Spectradyne’s microfluidic analysis cartridges are pre-calibrated at the factory.

Learn more benefits of microfluidics in this technical brief.

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