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New microcolumn enables faster and more sensitive biomolecule detection

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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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