Microfluidics Drug Discovery

Microfluidic automated fluidic workflows as valuable tools for drug discovery

Microfluidics drug discovery allows to miniaturize assays and increase experimental throughput from drug synthesis, to drug evaluation. Fluigent provides system integration and OEM solutions for every step of these processes, from standalone components for fluid handling to fully automated workflows allowing for sequential injection, fluid recirculation, or microfluidic droplet generation.
Main benefits
  • Increased throughput and reproducibility
  • Minimal reagent consumption
  • Fast reaction times
  • Automated fluidic workflow

Main applications in microfluidics drug discovery

drug synthesis  for drug discovery picture

Target selection and validation (drug synthesis)

When developing a drug target, protein structural and affinity studies are needed for target selection and validation, and protein interactions within cells must be studied. Single-cell protein quantitation, protein analysis in nanoliter droplets, and high-sensitivity ligand-binding interactions can be performed using microfluidic devices.

drug screening  for drug discovery picture

Hit identification and optimization (drug screening)

The potential pool size of drug candidates is estimated to be of the order of 1063. Microfluidic drug screening devices, including high-throughput microfluidic multiplexed systems that contain thousands of micrometer chambers, microwell arrays, or microvalves perform high-throughput screening studies with higher sensitivity and shorter reaction times while decreasing reagents volumes and costs.

drug evaluation for drug discovery picture

Preclinical studies (drug evaluation)

In recent years, alternatives to animal experimentation  have become a research hotspot. Organs on chips and organoids are widely used as alternatives as they emulate the architectural and functional complexity of native organs.  These systems also enable exploration of facets of human disease and development that are not accurately recapitulated by animal models.

Flow Control Performance and Enhanced Automation for Microfluidics Drug Discovery Applications

  • Drug synthesis and droplet microfluidics: When it comes to droplet or particle generation, having control of the fluid delivery system is important. During droplet or particle production, the flow rate of each phase must remain constant and stable to allow the production of monodisperse droplets. As experts in fluid control for droplet microfluidics, Fluigent provides droplet generation packages and platforms for researchers. These seamlessly generate micrometer droplets for a wide range of applications. Custom systems are also available to integrate technological and  industrial devices.
  • Multiplexing for drug screening: More than twenty reagents can be tested simultaneously when performing multiplexing applications on microfluidic devices. Automated fluidic workflows are a prerequisite. Fluigent developed the  Aria to automate multiple fluid deliveries. Reproducibility is improved through complete automation of the fluidic protocol.  Fluigent is also able to develop a custom system to fit user specifications and requirements.
  • Optimized shear stress and recirculation for organ on a chip studies and cell culture: When performing drug evaluation on 2D/3D cell culture and organs on chips, cell culture should be optimized through constant perfusion to enable nutrients/oxygen renewal and by inducing adequate passive stimulation through shear flow as the effect is substantial on cell properties. Sterility on the fluidic path is also a prerequisite. Fluigent develops fluid recirculating systems that perform unidirectional fluid recirculation ensuring improved and more stable flow rates compared to peristaltic pumps. The system can run for 10 days. Custom systems are also available for technology integration into industrial devices.
cell encapsulation high stability response time

Fluigent Solutions as an Alternative to Syringe Pumps for Better Performance and Automation Capabilities in Microfluidics Drug discovery

Flow rate stability and responsiveness is critical for the applications listed above. Syringe pumps are commonly used during this process. Depending on the model in use, syringe pumps show limited flow control, and the actual flow rate cannot be monitored. In addition, injection volumes are limited by the syringe, and automation can thus be difficult. An alternative to syringe pumps is pressure-based flow controllers. These show high-precision flow control, fast reaction time, and flow monitoring.    

The benefits of choosing Fluigent for your flow control system:

  • Best in class stability: < 0.5% thanks to our field-proven, patented FASTAB™ technology allowing optimal flow control with the robustness required in demanding industrial environments
  • Workflow automation becomes straightforward with the Fluigent SDK and software included in the system          
  • Our engineering team members are experts in microfluidic design, mechanical and software integration, and  biology applications                

For more information or a technical discussion

Contact us