A Multifunctional, Ultra-Sensitive Acoustic Wave Microdevice for Real Time Viscosity Measurement of Fluids and Biomolecular Interaction Analysis
Micropillar enhanced acoustic wave device that can achieve ultrahigh sensitivity, stability in measuring viscosity for BIA in fluids
Viscosity measurements determine a liquid’s flow, spread, level, and other important properties. In industries such as pharmaceuticals, food, cosmetics, and biomedical diagnostics, precise viscosity measurement is key. Current technology in the market varies from orifice viscometers, that are not sensitive and provide inaccurate readings that differ across operators, to rotational viscometers, involving an offline process with results that are easily affected by external factors. In the pharmaceutical field, viscosity is a major indicator of infectability of formulations. A new technology in viscometry that can achieve ultra-sensitive measurements will help maximize production efficiency and cost effectiveness.
Northeastern researchers have developed a real-time viscometry device that is multifunctional, ultrasensitive, and cost-effective. Another major application of the developed technology is in biomolecular interaction analysis (BIA) which is a critical analysis in pharmaceutical discovery and development, immunological and biochemical research, and food analysis. The developed technology has been utilized for protein binding kinetics measurement achieving sensitivity higher than that of surface plasma resonance (SPR). The technology is comprised of well-defined polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA) micropillars on an acoustic wave substrate (e.g. quartz crystal plate). A unique resonant coupling between the micropillar and quartz substrate vibrations enables e, a 20-fold increase in sensitivity as compared to traditional quartz crystal microbalance (QCM) viscometer. The device is also able to achieve an extremely low limit of detection. The device has been used for measuring interactions of human IgG (hIgG) – anti-hIgG at nM level concentrations and the results show the equilibrium dissociation constant, KD (=ka/kd) is very similar between developed mPAW technology and SPR. The mPAW technology-based biosensor has been developed as an early warning device for tracking COVID-19 prevalence in populations through wastewater analysis with a sensitivity of ~200 gene copies /ml.
- Low sampling volume
- High sensitivity and accuracy
- Real-time measurements
- Low cost and small footprint
- Viscosity measurement in pharmaceutical, cosmetic, food, and biomedical diagnostics industries
- Biomolecular interaction analysis (BIA) for drug development and discovery, immunological and biochemical research, and food analysis.
- Portable and rapid COVID-19 biosensor for Point-of-Care patient screening and community outbreak surveillance
Seeking Licensee and/or industry partner
- Provisional patent
- Development partner
- Commercial partner
- Seeking investment