Garry Walsh, University of Aberdeen School of Medicine, Scotland.
Examining adhesion of eosinophils under conditions of blood flow in the lungs.
Eosinophils are relatively rare and difficult to isolate. "You don't have very many to play with in your experiment," Walsh says. He needed a device that can handle a small number of cells in small volumes.
Five years ago, Walsh connected with engineers from Trinity College, Dublin, who asked him to help test a platform with standardized channels and precision fluidic control; the engineers later commercialized the platform through a spin-off company, Cellix. They developed a disposable microfluidic chip containing eight parallel, 400-μm wide microchannels - roughly...