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thinXXS - Mikrotechnologie
:: Case Study Sophion

Success Story Sophion Bioscience A/S

Unique Lab-on-Chip accelerates drug development.

It takes about twelf years to bring a new drug component to the market and the time for developing processes has permanently increased during the last few years. But how can you accelerate drug development?

That was exactly the question asked by Sophion Bioscience A/S. So they developed together with thinXXS Microtechnology AG the QPlate - a completely new microfluidic-lab-on-chip device, which considerably shortens the time for pharmaceutical companies to discover and develop new drugs for various disease areas.

The QPlate, manufactured by thinXXS, is the heart of Sophion’s QPatch HT and QPatch-16 systems. The systems allow for fully automated, parallel measurement of up to 48 ion channel currents in cell membranes (patch clamping). Ion channels are important targets in drug development since their controlled blocking or opening may have significant therapeutical effects. So far, such measurements posed a true bottleneck as the manual methods were extremely time consuming and labor intensive.

The QPlate integrates three different functions: it houses up to 48 microfabricated silicon/glass chips for the parallel measurements, it provides the necessary microfluidics to make the device work, and it acts as both electric and fluidic interface between the microstructures and apparatus.

For the first time this microfluidic chip combines the advantages of:
- micromolding,
- silicon microprocessing and
- printed circuit board technology.

As the result, the device integrates more functions than any other lab-on-chip on the market today!

“What Sophion asked us to do at the time was admirably forward-looking”, comments Dr. Hans-Joachim Hartmann, spokesman of the thinXXS executive board. “This disposable is a pioneering step in the world of lab-on-chip devices.”

“We are truly grateful for the support we received from  thinXXS in the development and optimization of the QPlates.

Their expertise in microfluidics, micromolding, and microassembly was a vital contribution to the success we have since we began shipping the QPatch system.”

Torsten Freltoft, MSc PhD.
Chief Executive Officer