Valve Method and Apparatus

Technology #ua15-138

Questions about this technology? Ask a Technology Manager

Download Printable PDF

Wooseok Jung
Postdoctoral Research Associate I, COM-PHX Applied NanoBioscience & Medicine
Frederic Zenhausern
Director, COM-PHX Applied NanoBioscience & Medicine
Managed By
Rakhi Gibbons
Asst. Director, Life Sciences (520) 626-6695

Title: Valve Method and Apparatus


This technology provides a novel valve apparatus and method for manipulating a fluid using an air-pressure free elastomeric valve designed for integrated nucleic acid analysis by separation and preferably using capillary electrophoresis.


An effective valve is required for integrated analysis in a microfluidic cartridge, especially in the context of valves for PCR nucleic analysis in a microfluidic cartridge because such a small volume of sample has to be preserved during harsh amplification cycles of high temperature and high pressure. Due to the harsh conditions during PCR, only a few valves have been successfully effective for use in PCR nucleic analysis in a microfluidic cartridge. Therefore, a novel device and method for fluid manipulation could be extremely valuable in the lab testing marketplace.


•       The valve features compact design and miniaturization while integrating multiple functionalities such as metering of precise volume, hermetic sealing, and highly efficient transfer of biospecimen between different microfluidic chambers, in particular operating under different environmental conditions (e.g. temperature sensitive PCR, CE post-processing, and on chip CE analysis or other bioanalytical detection technique).


•       The valve simplifies a DNA analysis system by eliminating the need for air-pressure or vacuum source and off-cartridge solenoid valves and control circuit boards and software. No external air-pressure or vacuum actuators are required for running the valve, as it spontaneously closes the valve without an additional actuator system.

•       The invention provides for monolithic integration of features allowing self-alignment of the valve module when interfaced with the instrument that does not require precise alignment of a valve actuator.

•       The invention features a high aspect ratio structure not limited to a thin membrane.

•       The design provides compatibility for large scale up and low cost manufacturing.

•       The invention offers integrated metering capability, providing over 97% of metering performance in filling the fixed volume of the PCR chamber, preserving over 97% of the sample volume during PCR, and showing very comparable capillary electrophoresis peak heights to the benchtop assay tube controls with very consistent transfer volume of the PCR-product and on-chip formamide

•       The thickness of the new valve make it easy to handle and very feasible to fabricate by injection molding compared to other PDMS valves.

Inventor(s): Frederic Zenhausern and Wooseok Jung

Licensing Manager: 

Rakhi Gibbons

Technology ID: UA15-138