Commercial Development of Microfluidic Chips


Microfluidics has the potential to transform medicine, giving more information to the physician and patient that may allow faster, more effective treatment. Despite significant progress in academia and industry over the last two decades, fewer microfluidic products than expected have reached the market, and none to date has emerged as a clear killer application yet. Though challenges exist, momentum is building with a growing number of start-ups, suppliers, foundries, and consortiums to support successful commercialization.

Microfluidic Devices for Cell Capture

While conventional flow cytometers can sort individual cells, because they operate serially, they are not efficient enough for use in capturing very rare cells in the bloodstream. The ability of microfluidics to operate at the scale of individual cells has encouraged the commercial development of devices for capturing and isolating specific cell types.

Devices Using Immunoassays

A number of companies are pursuing an immunoassay approach to microfluidic diagnostics, where the principle of detection is based on antibody-antigen binding. These devices differ from the antibody-based cell capture described above because they trap only the analyte molecules, not cells. Arguments for taking immunoassays down to the microscale include reduced reagent volumes (and thus reduced costs), smaller sample sizes (in the case of blood samples), automation of assays that would otherwise require several labor-intensive steps (typical of conventional ELISAs), higher sensitivity compared with conventional immunoassays, smaller POC instrument size, and faster results due to POC diagnosis as well as shorter reaction times. The potential applications for immunoassay-based methods span a wide range of disease areas, from infectious disease to prostate cancer to Alzheimer’s disease.

Devices that Enable Point of Care Using Clinical Chemistry

While many conventional diagnostics are currently available in a hospital’s central lab, physicians and patients must often wait hours or days to receive results. POC diagnostics enable physicians to make more informed diagnosis and treatment decisions, helping to converge on a correct diagnosis and appropriate treatment as early as possible. To address these needs, there are many microfluidic-based devices on the market and underdevelopment that have adapted current assays to the POC setting.


The increasing expense of drug development is a strong contributor to today’s skyrocketing healthcare costs. To curb the cost of drug development, it's important to improve the predictive power of pre-clinical screening to eliminate ineffective drug candidates as early as possible. There is a clear need for improvement of the predictive power of the preclinical studies through more accurate modeling of human physiology. To meet this need, Organ-on-a-Chip technology was hatched through the convergence of two areas of research: microfluidics and tissue engineering. On the basis of microfluidic fabrication techniques, a foundation was formed to build complex physical environments emulating the normal organ environment of the cells.

Modeling cancer and immune organs on microfluidic chips for preclinical drug screening and studying physiological processes. Fig.1 Modeling cancer and immune organs on microfluidic chips for preclinical drug screening and studying physiological processes. (Sun, 2019)

Urgent commercial demand determines the inevitability and rapid development of microfluidics application in the medical field. Creative Biolabs has been devoted to microfluidic researches over years. We have established a comprehensive one-stop microfluidic solution platform. We are now capable of providing a variety of microfluidic-based services including but not limited to:

If you are interested in microfluidics or you have any problems in this field, please don’t hesitate to contact us for more information.


  1. Sun, W.; et al. Organ-on-a-chip for cancer and immune organs modeling. Adv Healthc Mater. 2019, 8(15): e1900754.

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