Columbia University

Technology Ventures

A portable, efficient microfluidic cell counting device

Technology #2625

Lead Inventor: Samuel Sia, Ph.D

Tech Ventures Reference: IR 2221, IR 2625

Problem or Unmet Need:
UNAIDS estimated 33.4 million people were living with HIV worldwide and 2.0 million died of AIDS-related diseases in 2008. Although significant progress has been achieved in preventing new HIV infections and in lowering the annual number of AIDS-related deaths, the number of people infected continues to increase. AIDS-related illnesses remain one of the leading causes of death globally. With nearly 90% of the infected residing in developing countries and rural areas, a low-cost, rapid and point-of-care system for diagnosis and disease monitoring has been identified as a critical area of technology development by the WHO.

Details of the Invention:
The current invention describes a completely portable, automated, highly efficient microfluidic device for counting of CD4+ T-cells, a hallmark for diagnosis and treatment evaluation of HIV/AIDS. The device combines microfluidic technology, immuno-chemistry, and surface functionalization to bind and quantify targeted cells. It is a low-cost, solar-powered, rapid, and accurate diagnostic instrument. With equipment and assay cost below known competition, it is particularly applicable for point-of-care settings in developing countries and rural areas. In addition, the device may be utilized to detect cancer cells in serum for diagnosis and monitoring of other diseases. A number of large diagnostics companies, including Becton Dickinson and Inverness, have invested in new point-of-care technologies for AIDS diagnosis in the developing world.

• A portable automated CD4 cytometer, allowing for fast quantification of CD4 cells in blood serum
• A purification system for targeted cells by eluting off captured cells
• A diagnostic tool for detecting cancer cells in serum
• A platform technology for diagnosis and monitoring of other diseases

• A portable, compact cytometer with fast and accurate readout
• Point-of-care diagnosis
• Affordable instrument and assay
• Can use whole blood, unpurified blood as sample solutions
• Solar-powered, can be run independent of local electricity grids
• Applicable for uses in developing countries and rural areas

Patent Status: Patent Pending (WO/2009/006456) ~ see link below.

Licensing Status: Available for Licensing and Sponsored Research Support

Publications: Z. Wang, S. Chin, C.D. Chin, J. Sarik, M. Harper, J. Justman and S.K. Sia*, Microfluidic CD4+ T-Cell Counting Device Using Chemiluminescence-Based Detection, Anal. Chem., 2010, 82 (1), 36-40