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New microcolumn enables faster and more sensitive biomolecule detection

January 29, 2007 Share This!

RICHLAND, Wash. – Researchers at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory have developed a microcolumn flow cell that processes samples up to five times faster and is more sensitive than traditional approaches to microbead assays using microtubes or microplates. Researchers designed and tested several unique flow cells that allow a miniature column of magnetic or non-magnetic microbeads to be captured while still allowing sample solutions or detection reagents to be “perfused” -- to flow or spread -- over the column. This approach “forces” interactions between surface functionalized microbeads and target analytes of interest, enhancing assay speed and sensitivity. The microcolumn was designed with industry needs in mind. The technology can be used for clinical diagnostics, basic research, or monitoring of food and water. The design is adaptable to a variety of device formats -- disposable, renewable, single sample, parallel sample -- and can concentrate target analytes in various sized sample volumes, nanoliters to liters.

PNNL’s microcolumns are available for commercialization. For business inquiries, contact Eric Jurrus, Ph.D., at (509) 372-4905 or via email.

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Interdisciplinary teams at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory address many of America's most pressing issues in energy, the environment and national security through advances in basic and applied science. Founded in 1965, PNNL employs 4,300 staff and has an annual budget of more than $1 billion. It is managed by Battelle for the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science. As the single largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences in the United States, the Office of Science is working to address some of the most pressing challenges of our time. For more information on PNNL, visit the PNNL News Center, or follow PNNL on Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn and Twitter.

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