High Throughput Microfluidic Protein Isolation

Technology #16927

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Professor Jongyoon Han
Research Laboratory of Electronics, MIT
External Link (www.rle.mit.edu)
Han Wei Hou
Research Laboratory of Electronics, MIT
Aniruddh Sarkar
Research Laboratory of Electronics, MIT
Galit Alter
Department of Biological Engineering, Massachusetts General Hospital
Managed By
Michelle Hunt
MIT Technology Licensing Officer
Patent Protection

System and Method for Multiplexed Affinity Purification of Proteins and Cells

PCT Patent Application WO 2016-077055
18th International Conference on Miniaturized Systems for Chemistry and Life Sciences, October 26-30, 2014, San Antonio, Texas, USA


  • Point of care detection of HIV and other infectious diseases, which require multiplexed detection
  • Microfluidic separation and isolation of antibodies
  • Microfluidic separation and isolation of cells
  • Affinity purification in a column

Problem Addressed

This is a device for isolating individual antibodies, proteins or cells from a complex mixture, and it addresses the current technology's inefficiencies.


Multiplexed isolation of rare antibodies, proteins or cells from complex mixtures is a process essential for disease diagnosis and drug development.  However, current methods, such as affinity chromatography and flow cytometry, can be time and labor intensive when used for interrogating more than a single protein in a sample, and are not well-suited for detecting rare events due to their relatively low throughput.  Professor Jay Han and colleagues have developed a novel method to isolate rare proteins and cells in complex biological samples by flowing a sample incubated with antibody-coated beads of different sizes in a spiral microfluidic channel.  The device takes advantage of the principles of inertial microfluidics to separate the differently sized beads, each bound to a different protein of interest, with high fidelity and throughput.  This system has a variety of applications, ranging from sample purification in pharmaceutical contexts to point of care disease diagnosis, and can be easily adapted for multiplexing.


  • Versatile tool that can be used for research, industrial and clinical purposes
  • Multiplexed and high throughput
  • Can work with small or large volume sample
  • High specificity
  • Low cost
  • Sample can be easily analyzed with downstream tools