Microfluidic probe for personalized medicine


Microfluidics

Microfluidics

Microfluidics are generally “closed” systems inside which samples pass and to which user-to-chip interfaces are established.

We have developed a scanning, non-contact technology — the microfluidic probe (MFP) — that overcomes key limitations of microfluidics by combining the concepts of microfluidics and of scanning probes.


Instrumentation

Instrumentation

Beneath the MFP head, liquid boundaries are formed by hydro-dynamically confining a flow of processing solution by replacing the solid walls of closed microchannels that represent a transition from closed to “open” microfluidics.

Our MFP provides new opportunities for handling, analyzing, and interacting with biological samples for surface and biological interface processing.


Micro IHC

Micro IHC

We recently proposed the concept of “tissue micro-processing” to conserve precious tissue samples and to extract more information of better quality. We showed that tumor markers can be detected with a technique called micro-immuno-histo-chemistry (IHC). The microfluidic probe can identify protein and genetic markers on the microscale and thus provides “multidimensional” information on critical samples useful for personalized medicine.

In parallel, we have started exploring sampling strategies and how to exploit the vast amount of data potentially generated by the microfluidic probe.

Ask the expert

Govind Kaigala

Govind Kaigala

IBM Research scientist


EU Projects

EU projects

This work is supported, in part, by an EU-European Research Council’s project BioProbe, the EU project Virtual Vials, and a SystemsX.ch project called µFluidX.


Collaboration

We are now extending several concepts related to the MFP and tissue microprocessing with partners, including the Institute of Clinical Pathology of the University Hospital of Zurich and the Technion Institute of Technology.