The iPlate Platform system provides fast mixing, reaction, concentration, separation, and transport using simpler automation than competing technologies. The technology underlying the iPlate Platform system is electrode-enabled, electro-kinetic liquid and particle manipulation. Multifrequency AC signals drive a periodic array of microelectrodes embedded in the iPlate base which, in turn, induce rapid flows on multiple length scales.
iFluidics has successfully demonstrated rapid mixing, separation and concentration both cellular and non-cellular assays in micro and nanoliter-volume solutions relevant to numerous biochemical applications.
The iPlate Platform
The software platform is installed on a standard MS Windows 7/10 Operating System desktop or laptop device, and controls the electronic signals that are generated by the amplifier / signal generator inside the hardware platform. The software can adjust electronic stimulation by adjusting voltage, frequency, amplitude, and signal duration. These signals are able to be precisely tuned for the requirements of a specific assay as developed and programmed. The software is capable of selection of programmed signals to all 8 rows of the iPlate, or the user can select individual rows in various on/off configurations for receipt of electro-kinetic signals.
The hardware platform consists of a small, desk-top sized box that is a self-contained unit incorporating an amplifier/function generator and firmware that generates electronic signals for sample processing, capable of supporting mixing, separation and concentration for analytical tests based on ultra-small blood samples in times as short as 10 minutes, providing a real-time alternative to the “take two vials of blood, wait for a week” current practice. The hardware platform can be installed at laboratories, and in the future - pharmacies, and/or potentially at doctor’s offices.
The hardware platform is controlled by the software platform through a USB interface and delivers instructions from the software such that assay-specific electrical impulses of precise frequency and amplitude are delivered via a stage unit into electro-kinetically-enabled reaction vessels (see Figures 1 and 2. below, where a potential doctor’s office set-up is depicted). Control over electro-kinetic effects within each iPlate that is mounted upon a Stage unit, connected by cable, allows precision mixing, separation or concentration of molecular species at the micro-scale.
The consumable iPlate which is the centerpiece of the hardware platform is the consumable, electro-kinetically-enabled ”smart” reaction vessel for which two patents have issued. Standard microplate dimensions are established in ANSI-SLAS standards and all plate form factors use a 2:3 row to column layout. The iPlate may be adapted to a variety of form factors but the company’s initial focus, developed in conjunction with partners for go to market purposes, has targeted the microplate format (96-well, 384-well), widely used in both research and clinical diagnostic laboratories around the world. The “iPlate” (short for “intelligent microplate”) consists of standard-format, bottomless 96-, or 384-well microplates, programmable to form many processing functions through the addition of proprietary electrodes in the base (see Figure 4. below). Maintaining standard ANSI-SLAS dimensions enables the iPlate to be fully compatible with existing life sciences infrastructure and equipment. Integrated Fluidics does not make or market bioassays themselves – standard bioassays are used – but the Company provides enabling capability to miniaturize and accelerate those assays as well as reduce their cost. (As an analogy, “there are many types of tea. Keurig, Inc. does not make the tea, they make the Keurig device that prepares the tea”).
iPlate Platform (Beta Prototype shown).
A software-application imbedded on a laptop connects to the MPU signal generator which provides electrical signals to iPlate via a cable-connected Stage unit.
The diagnostics device appropriate for smaller laboratories, doctor’s offices, or pharmacies.
Future commercialization and development effort will expand ability for choices of multiple assay-unique programs to electro-kinetically stimulate user defined and specific rows of the same iPlate. Additionally, software can readily be expanded and modified to accommodate a 96-well iPlate 12-row orientation or either row or column orientation on 384-well iPlates.
A proprietary printed circuit board is adhered to the base of a conventional, bottomless 96- well, or 384-well Polypropylene microplate to create the electro-kinetically-enabled “iPlate”. Plastic, passive test plates have been in use for more than 60 years without substantial innovation.