Date of this Version
As technology improves, there is a push to minimize the cost of diagnostics as well as the cost of screening for novel drugs in the pharmaceutical industry. There is no exception in clinical point-of-care settings, and quick, fast, and inexpensive tests are needed to determine if patients require treatment or a change in dosage. The most successful endeavor in the realm of microfluidics is the InkJet printer, invented in 19801. Other examples of successful and developing microfluidic technology include polymerase chain reaction, high throughput DNA sequencing, and point-of-care pathology. It is therefore reasonable that micro-scale, more thorough and diagnostically relevant coagulation studies might be desired.
Several hurdles exist to miniaturizing large scale processes, which stem from flow in the laminar regime. For example, on chip mixing is considered difficult since the Reynolds number reaches a limit so low that the fluid will not mix with particles on different streamlines. The Microfluidic Multi-Surface Coagulation Assay (µMCA) Chip introduces a novel way of recalcifying citrated whole blood on-chip, which simplifies the job of the operator and allows faster determination of results. Simple diffusion and convection of small particles combined with intuitive design make the design of this product not only functional but also inexpensive.
Previous coagulation studies merely test one pathway to coagulation, and many do so in a test tube rather than under flow. The µMCA will test both intrinsic and extrinsic coagulation pathways under arterial shear rates, making results from the device more relevant to diagnostics or patient-specific dosage of coagulants or anticoagulants. In summary, the µMCA provides a streamlined and thorough way to measure patient specific clotting abilities in physically relevant flow regimes.
Date Posted: 25 July 2014