The Brillance of Ingenuity

CFDRC Receives US Patent for Self-cleaning and Mixing Microfluidic Elements

CFD Research Corporation (CFDRC) announced today the receipt of Patent No. US #7,604,394 for an invention titled “Self-cleaning and Mixing Microfluidic Elements”. This invention builds upon CFDRC’s IP portfolio of micro- and nano-fluidic technologies (10+ patents awarded or pending).


Lab-on-chip (LOC) systems or BioMEMS are gaining increasing popularity to implement complex biochemical assays including immunoassays, DNA hybridization, and general cellular and biomolecular interactions in an automated fashion with significant saving in cost of consumables. Mixing in LOC systems is diffusion-dominated, which relies on the inherent properties of the samples and can be very slow. Similarly, recovery of microdevices involves cleaning of various components such as pumps, interconnects, reaction chambers, pre-concentrators, separators, and sensors. Both mixing and cleaning can constitute a significant part of the overall assay time.


Dr. Kapil Pant, Director Micro/Nano BioSystems, stated that “the present invention provides a novel method and system for inducing and controlling flow motion in a microfluidic system, which can facilitate rapid mixing and cleaning, thereby reducing the overall assay time. Furthermore, the absence of moving parts, ease of control, and no requirements on special surface treatment render the technology very attractive for LOC applications. “


The technology was designed through extensive use of computer simulations. Selected designs were fabricated and demonstrated for mixing and/or cleaning in CFDRC’s Bioengineering Laboratory. The technology was invented by CFDRC Biomedical Technology Branch, under an SBIR (Small Business Innovative Research) project funded by the Department of Defense (DoD).


About CFDRC:


CFDRC develops and commercializes state-of-the-art technologies (advanced analysis software, innovative designs, prototypes, and expert support services), and provides solutions for aerospace and defense, biomedical and life sciences and energy and materials technologies. CFDRC is located in Huntsville, Alabama, and has been serving federal agencies and global businesses since 1987. (


Presently, CFDRC has over 45 patents (awarded or pending), and works with industry partners for their adaptation and applications. CFDRC is committed to commercialize its innovative technologies, and to support and transfer those technologies to DoD, NASA, etc and/or commercial markets. Contact: Dr. Vincent J. Harrand, Vice President, for Technology Commercialization (

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