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Miniature Pump Design That Uses Smart Materials Wins The Microfluidic Circle Competition

Miniature Pump Design That Uses Smart Materials Wins The Microfluidic Circle Competition

Toronto, Canada, May 10, 2017 (Newswire.com) – The winner of the 2017 Microfluidic Circle competition is Shaw Mountain Technology (SMT) from Boise (Idaho, USA). The winner receives US$50,000 worth of production and development services from uFluidix Inc.

Shaw Mountain Technology specializes in the production of smart materials. They also develop new actuators that use these materials. Smart materials are alloys that change shape once exposed to certain external stimuli such as temperature, magnetic or electric fields. SMT participated in this round of competition with their novel micro-pump that uses magnetic shape memory alloy to deliver micro-liters of fluid. Because they use smart materials, their design is a motorless pump with potential to be used in integrated microfluidic systems such as portable blood analyzers.

Microfluidics is a field that brings together biology and engineering for precise analysis or efficient synthesis of sub-droplet size of liquid. It has great potential in the field of Point-of-Care diagnostics, as well as many other applications, but the field has not witnessed a tangible impact on the market yet. Dr. Aarash Sofla, CEO of uFluidix, a manufacturer of microfluidic devices, says: “During the past 15 years, thousands of microfluidic devices have been designed by more than 10,000 developers worldwide. Unfortunately, very few of these inventions have been commercialized. One major obstacle is the costly process of verification or optimization of the early stage prototypes, where the developers often have to go through several iterations, or test tens to hundreds of their devices.”

The Microfluidic Circle Prototyping Grant was launched in 2016 to identify and support startups and individual inventors who are commercializing groundbreaking microfluidic products with limited access to funding or production facilities. Dr. Aaron Smith, a senior engineer at SMT and winner of the 2017 competition, mentions: “This is a great opportunity to work with uFluidix to bring our microfluidic technology to the market. This grant synergizes well with our current activities and will be instrumental for achieving our next major goal.” The competition will soon be open for a new round.

About Shaw Mountain Technology

Shaw Mountain Technology LLC, established in 2015, is a Boise-based company that produces high-quality, advanced technology. The company specializes in shape memory alloys, particularly the magnetic shape memory alloy Ni-Mn-Ga, and develop various technologies within the fields of sensors, microfluidics, energy harvesters and actuators. For more information, please visit shawmountaintechnology.com.

About The Microfluidic Circle

The Microfluidic Circle is a professional community of individuals and companies created by uFluidix to bring together those who share one goal: help commercialize and grow the field of microfluidics. In this regard, the Circle interconnects business experts, engineers, scientists, investors, startups and the industry to promote collaboration toward introducing more successful microfluidics products. For more information, please visit circle.ufluidix.com.

About uFluidix

uFluidix is a contract manufacturer that designs, develops, and fabricates custom microfluidic chips that are mainly used by medical devices, diagnostics, and therapeutics companies for a variety of microtechnology applications. For more information, please visit ufluidix.com.

Media Contact:

Kateryna Protsyk, Program Manager
The Microfluidic Circle
Email: circle@ufluidix.com

For information on our latest news and our trending posts:
twitter.com/ufluidix or @uFluidix

For official press release, please click here.

Meet The Prototyping Grant Winner

Meet The Prototyping Grant Winner

After lengthy and careful consideration uFluidix is pleased to announce the winner of the 2016-2017 Prototyping Grant.

 

The winner is

Shaw Mountain Technology 

• Congratulations! •

 

SMT_MSMMicropump-300x281Shaw Mountain Technology (SMT) is a Boise-based company (Idaho, USA) that specializes in shape memory alloys, particularly the magnetic shape memory alloy Ni-Mn-Ga, and develop various technologies within the fields of sensors, microfluidics, energy harvesters, and actuators.

This grant covers USD 50,000 of design and fabrication services from uFluidix for the development of the magnetic shape memory (MSM) micropump, created by Shaw Mountain Technology, for one year up to a maximum defined with no strings attached.

«The MSM micropump utilizes a heterogeneous magnetic field from a diametrically magnetized permanent magnet to locally strain the material nearest to the poles of the magnet.  The resulting small cavity follows the poles of the magnet when the magnet is rotated.  The MSM micropump captures this motion by placing the material within a microfluidic channel.  Fluid from the inlet side of the channel is peristically transported to the outlet using the MSM effect.»
Retrieved from shawmountaintechnology.com

 

We would like to thank all applicants who applied for the 2016-2017 Prototyping Grant round!

We greatly appreciate your time, effort, and persistence.

Stay tuned and don’t forget to join The Microfluidic Circle. The next round is coming!

 

Upcoming Microfluidics Conferences 2017

Upcoming Microfluidics Conferences 2017

If you would like to advance your knowledge of cutting-edge microfluidics technology as well as participate in lively discussions and constructive collaborations, then attached document is for you. Click the link below to download list of conferences related to Microfluidics, Nanofluidics, Lab-on-a-Chip, Point-of-Care Diagnostics, Organs-on-a-Chip, BioMEMS, 3D-BioPrinting, etc.

Microfluidics Conferences 2017

Upcoming Microfluidics Conferences 2016

Upcoming Microfluidics Conferences 2016

If you are inspired about Microfluidics and want to exchange knowledge or share experience, attached document is for you. Click a link below to download useful information about upcoming conferences related to Microfluidics, Nanofluidics and Lab-on-a-Chip.

Microfluidics Conferences 2016

                  Please feel free to download the list of Microfluidics Conferences 2017 as well.

Rules of Thumb for Designing $1 Microfluidic Cartridges

Rules of Thumb for Designing $1 Microfluidic Cartridges

If your business plan requires your raw microfluidic chip’s cost remain under $1 for being competitive with existing solutions, then you need to plan for it early in the product development process. Unfortunately, too often we come across microfluidic device developers who learn heart-breaking, nasty surprises regarding scalability of their multi-million dollar prototypes.

uFluidix’s production team has put together a few rules of thumb for designing low-cost plastic microfluidic cartridges. If these restrictions are conflicting with your design requirements, then it is recommend to consult with a few lab-on-a-chip manufacturers soon.

Guideline for the design of low-cost plastic microfluidic chips.

  • Keep the width of features (channels, chambers, …) greater than 20um.
  • Use no more than two layers including one feature layer sealed by a flat substrate layer.
  • Keep aspect ratio (height/width) between 0.5 and 2.
  • Keep features only on one side of a layer.
  • Avoid hard-to-bond plastics such as olefin copolymers.
  • Avoid dissimilar layers.
  • Avoid need to micro alignment of layers.
  • Avoid drilled or punched ports. Instead, use side access.

Aarash Sofla, CEO, uFluidix

A manufacturer’s 2 cents on developing microfluidic products

A manufacturer’s 2 cents on developing microfluidic products

Clients have shared more than 1000 microfluidic designs or products with us for contract manufacturing. Interestingly the designs can be classified to two types, lets call them Type A or B, based on whether they exploit micron-size specific behavior of fluids or not. These small scale phenomena include surface tension, electrical, magnetic or shear force, etc… which may behave differently in a 30 micron dia. channel compared to a 1mm dia. channel for similar designs.

Type A devices exploit the micron scale behavior to achieve a novel function. A Type A product offers something new that probably is not feasible if the design is scaled 10 times larger. Type A designs are therefore innovative or perhaps disruptive. On the other hand, Type B devices offer to miniaturize, integrate or automate existing fluidic products or processes. The value proposition for type B products may include “cheaper”, “faster” or “more accurate” words.

Unfortunately, founders of Type B ventures after 1-2 years, or academic researchers of Type B microfluidic devices after 3-5 years face the sad reality that the macro-scale counterpart of their design, also, offers good or even better solution. Type B products have therefore uphill or often fatal crossing of the chasm due to stiff competition from status quo. Below, I would like to bring summary of a typical communication between a manufacturer and a Type B microfluidic start-up venture:

Venture: How much it costs to manufacture 1000 units of the attached design?

Manufacturer: $50 per chip.

Venture: But that is too expensive. This chip is supposed to be disposable; a conventional lab does the same test that our chip does for less than $10.

Manufacturer: If you increase the volume of your order to 100,000 chips then we manufacture for $5 per chip.

Venture: But we have other costs too. This doesn’t make sense.

I have lost count of similar conversations that we have been through, but it easily exceeds several per month.  Looking back, I confidently say that chances are low to hear back from the above Type B prospect!! On the other hand, we have completed hundreds of projects and delivered thousands of chips to type A clients. Several of them well on their path to launch truly novel products with +$100 price tags!!

Aarash Sofla, CEO, uFluidix

uFluidix Exhibits at Healthkick 2015

uFluidix Exhibits at Healthkick 2015

uFluidix, a global leader in microfluidics, is proud to be part of Toronto’s Life Sciences industry. Please stop by at our booth for a chat on Thursday May 7th if you are looking for a job, venture partnership or collaborative work. We would be happy to propose our value in person, and to hear from you.

In addition, we have exciting news about our latest ground breaking point-of-care pathogen detection system. We would like to know if our platform technology is interesting to you.

Click for more info.

Showcase at Healthkick 2014

Showcase at Healthkick 2014

OnChip Diagnostics a uFluidix associate company will be exhibiting at MaRS Healthkick 2014 on May 15 in downtown Toronto.
OnChip Dx commercializes Point-of-care diagnostics devices that use Lab-on-a-chip technology to detect infectious diseases.
There will be representatives from uFluidix and OnChip Dx at the exhibition. Please stop by for a chat.

The exhibition is held at concourse level of MaRS Building (Photo courtesy of Mars) at 101 College Street (southeast corner of College and University) and is open to public.

 

uFluidix was featured as a success story

uFluidix has been a MaRS Discovery District client since 2010.  We are proud to be mentioned between some of the most successful Ontario Life Sciences startups.

uFluidix awarded NRC-IRAP funding

Canada’s government through the NRC-IRAP program continues to support uFluidix’s R&D operation. The funding will strengthen uFluidix expertise in the area of diagnostics.