Frequently Asked Questions
At our headquarters in RTP, NC, we manufacture and package thousands of chips per month using a proprietary molding process. We deposit magnetic material into a mold, backfill with our silicone elastomer, then remove the mold. The result is a sheet of silicone film with millions of Redbud Posts on the surface. Finally, we laminate this film against other layers and dice the sheet to form individual packaged chips.
Redbud Posts are flexible, magnetic micro-pillars that are fixed to the surface of the MXR microfluidic chip. When the posts are subjected to a changing magnetic field, the posts flex and rotate generating turbulent mixing. Redbud Posts are like artificial cilia which move in response to a changing magnetic fields, enabling fluid processing at the microscale.
Absolutely. We’ve found that passive mixing techniques (herringbone structures, serpentine channels, diffusion, etc.) are limited in their ability to effectively mix volumes of unequal size and are prohibitively slow. We have compared MXR to application driven active mixing techniques (e.g. bubble mixing for microarrays).
MXR can be used to mix over a wide range of volumes, from greater than 100 µL to less than 1 µL.
Our magnetic driver typically needs to be within 5 mm of the Redbud Post film.
Our chips can be clamped, welded, or bonded into cartridges using a wide range of methods common to both prototyping and high-volume manufacturing.
Yes, mixing with MXR improves reagent uniformity, enabling the highest possible reaction yield. Dried or lyophilized reagents can even be pre-loaded into MXR, streamlining cartridge assembly.
Redbud Post arrays are optically clear. They have been used for fluorescence, transmission brightfield, reflectance, and more.
Perhaps. We have worked with customers using magnetic beads and may be able to accommodate your application.
No. Redbud Posts are loaded with a magnetic material that makes them responsive to our magnetic driver. This magnetic material is encased in silicone and not exposed to the sample.
Our microfluidic chips can be rapidly customized for any application, from microchips to microscope slides to microplates. Our microfludic chips can be as small as 1 mm square and as large as 11.5 cm x 9 cm. Chamber heights can vary from less than 100 µm to more than 1 mm.
MXR is compatible in assays up to at least 100ºC.
The first step is usually to get a starter kit and try it out. If you’re too busy, we may be able to do your early feasibilty testing in-house. Either way, just contact us to get started.
Our microfluidic chips are targeted at applications where managing consumable cost structure is essential. We work to ensure that MXR is highly manufacturable, so that cost never has to be a barrier to including our chips in your cartridge. MXR chip sizes vary and so does the cost per chip. However, expect to pay more for low volume feasibility studies and far less per chip when designs are set for chip incorporation into high-volume consumables (e.g. point-of-care diagnostics).
No, but we work closely with a lot of smart people who do. We often work side-by-side with contract engineers (CEs) and contract manufacturers (CMs) vendors to help you develop the best possible product. If you’re looking for a CE or CM, feel free to contact us. We’re happy to give you a recommendation based on your specific technology and stage of development.
We can’t wait to tell you more, but we must respect confidentiality agreements exercised with our clients. For now, suffice it to say that we’re working with leading firms and the hottest startups in molecular diagnostics, sequencing, cell analysis, liquid biopsy, biomanufacturing, and more. We also have active partnerships with collaborators and consortia.