December 10, 2012 –
Bioengineering professor Amy Herr and BioE graduate student Alex Hughes have published a groundbreaking research in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Herr and Hughes have successfully created a microfluidic Western blot device which can run 48 assays in an hour or less.
The Western blot is a workhorse of biology labs, used to detect specific proteins in a sample of tissue extract. Performed conventionally, the many steps of blotting are time consuming and labor intensive, taking multiple hours per test. Herr developed a microfluidic platform of 48 tiny channels on a microscope slide, requiring only nanoliters of sample fluid.
Once widespread, this technology could significantly increase the speed and efficiency of biological research.