Duke University is seeking a company interested in commercializing a novel high-throughput flow chamber, which can be mass-produced at a low cost ($1-5) and sold as a sterile packaged disposable life science research tool ($10-100). The high-throughput flow chamber facilitates the evaluation of cells and biomolecules under different fluid shear stresses and thus, fills a previously unmet need in the fields of drug discovery, toxicology, cell research and genetics.
Flow chambers are a crucial research tool in studying cellular mechanisms in vitro, and this chamber can be used to study the mechanisms of proliferation, adhesion and differentiation of cells, such as stem cells, under shear stresses. This invention makes it possible to simultaneously test the effects of varying concentrations of different drugs on adherent cells under flow conditions, and thus, is an invaluable tool for drug development and toxicity studies. Arterial and venous flow shear forces can be reproduced for platelet adhesion studies and thrombosis research. Further, the flow chamber can be used to study biofilm adhesion to different surface coatings and the interactions of ligands with different matrix proteins, both under flow conditions. Finally, the chamber allows a sufficient number of cells to be recovered from its wells following exposure to fluid shear stresses. DNA or RNA can then be harvested from these cells for gene expression studies, RT-PCR or Western blot analyses.