Marking the 25th sale of a Microfluidics Tool Kit system, Micralyne of Edmonton, Alberta, said it sold a system to the University of California Berkeley.
The Tool Kit – or µTK – is an electronics device that allows researchers to run early-stage microfluidics experiments without having to design the chips themselves. Researchers load reagents onto a glass chip the company provides, insert it into the kit’s interface, and then control the experiment on the chip by setting the voltage on the electronics system.
“This is basically a market seeding tool,” said Sandra Katz, vice president of marketing and business development for Micralyne. “It’s a simple standard design, just to get researchers started.”
The system sells for less than $35,000, and is designed for testing microfluidic separations using electronics and optics.
Micralyne, a privately owned company that designs micromachinery for life sciences and telecommunications, launched the µTK a year ago to provide an entry point into microfluidics for researchers. The company hopes to leverage these commercial relationships later on, as the customers develop applications for the chips and want to design more advanced chips, Katz said.
“A lot of researchers just starting out in the microfluidics area have had a barrier to entry because they didn’t have the electronic and optic platform on which to use the chips.” Katz said. “With this chip they can start looking at using capillary electrophoresis and seeing how DNA separations work.”
The company has sold 16 instruments in North America, as well as nine in Europe and Asia.
Micralyne has ongoing manufacturing and development partnerships with Applied Biosystems, JDS Uniphase, and MDS Sciex in the areas of custom microfluidics for life sciences. “While the real potential of microfluidics is yet to be realized, I have no doubt that there will be certain applications in genomics, proteomics, and drug discovery,” said Katz.