Microfluidic Concentrator for Label-Free, Continuous Nanoparticle Processing


Microfluidic sample concentration devices enable a departure from expensive centrifugation devices and immobile processes that are used presently to concentrate and capture targeted nanoparticles. Because of their ability to significantly reduce sample size and enable sensitive and rapid detection systems, microfluidic sample concentration devices are being proposed more frequently and developed into target capture and diagnostic systems. While the field is growing and advancements are rapidly occurring, opportunities exist to improve the components of microfluidic systems to enable better target capture and concentration of nanoparticles.

This invention provides a microfluidic sample concentration device that uses a gentle temperature gradient combined with engineered convection to achieve effective nanoparticle focusing in a continuous flow-through process. The device can target any nanospecies in a solution and the concentration factor is comparable to levels achieved by ultracentrifugation, but is less costly, smaller, and portable. The design of the device also allows for the concentrated species to be continuously retrieved from the system as opposed to slower batched processes.

Lehigh University Tech ID # 081915-01

Competitive Advantage

The device and methodology provided by this invention enables the concentration of nanoparticles in an aqueous solution for preparation and analysis using miniaturized capture and detection platforms:

1.  Simplified, continuous, label-free nanoparticle concentration method

2. Significantly less costly than conventional nanoparticle concentration methods and equipment

3. Portable, hand-held device as opposed to centrifugation equipment


The global biochip products market size was projected to reach $3.3 billion in 2012 and the market is projected to grow to $14.4 billion in 2018. The compound annual growth rate (CAGR) is expected to be 30%. The global microarray market is expected to reach $7.4 billion by 2018. Microfluidic sample handling is central to both of these platforms.

Lehigh University is looking for a partner for further development and commercialization of this technology through a license. The inventor is available to collaborate with interested companies.


For Information, Contact:
Alan Snyder
VP, Research & Grad Programs
Lehigh University
Xuanhong Cheng
Chao Zhou
Alparslan Oztekin