Magnetics Business & Technology - May/June 2022 - 16

FEATURE ARTICLE
Biotech Cell Aligner Based on Ferrofluid Technology from French Spin-off
Qfluidics
Qfluidics, a developer of innovative microfluidics and ferrofluid
technology, has collaborated with instrument maker Elvesys
Group in the creation of a new microfluidic pilot pack that provides
an ultra low-shear cell aligner to sort cells in bioscience
applications.
The result is a plug-and-play single cell aligner from Elvesys
ready to be connected to a user's fluidic system which, employing
Qfluidic's biocompatible liquid tube technology, preserves
the integrity of the living cells being studied. The pack combines
the precise accuracy of Elvesys' OB1 instrument with the
unique low-shear capability of Qfluidics' cell aligner, providing
a system to control and align precious cells without any sheath
flow for sorting experiments. The aligned cells can then be injected
to a transparent microfluidic chip for implementation with
the user's equipment for cell observation or sorting.
As cell populations show a great variety in size and morphology,
this directly influences the interpretation of diagnostic and
therapeutic results of diseases. It is crucial to be able to manipulate
and align them for proper sorting with the key difficulty
being the fragility of those living cells which are very sensitive
to mechanical shear stress. Over the past decades, researchers
have developed various, sometimes cumbersome, strategies
to manipulate single cells ranging from dielectrophoresis
to optical tweezers and acoustic waves.
Recently, however, experts at Qfluidics have designed a
simple way to magnetically confine a magnetic liquid ferrofluid
into a funnel-like shape to levitate a second immiscible liquid.
This unique liquid-liquid interface grants an ultra low-shear as
the cells are aligned without any friction. An electro-magnetically
actuated liquid valve, also made of ferrofluid, is built in to
be able to control the flow of cells in a contactless way, thus
preserving the well-being of the cells, depicted in figure 1 on
the opposite page.
The system is based on Qfluidics' Qpump system. When submitted
to a quadrupolar magnetic field, an " anti-tube " of water
--or any other fluid, emulsion, or suspension -- is surrounded
by a ferrofluid. This patented technology is at the basis of the
company's Qpump C5, depicted in figure 2. Moving pinching
points result in " magnetostaltic " pumping. Being able to " pinch "
the tube at multiple locations and moving those pinching points
along the tube results in a magnetic peristatic action except
16 Magnetics Business & Technology * May/June 2022
that this time the tube is liquid and offers frictionless pumping.
Pumping pressures of less than 1 bar and flow rates of several
hundreds mL/min can be achieved with the Qpump, even
higher rates on demand.
Qfluidics also offers a series of ferrofluids with varying magnetization
characteristics. Depicted in figure 3 is its K series rated
at 35-70 mT magnetization.
Both collaborators are located in France. Elvesys Group,
based in Paris, develops a range of its Elveflow miccrofluidic
instruments for applications in scientific fields such as biology,
chemistry and drug delivery, also for cosmetics and food.
Qfluidics is a spin-off from the Laboratory of Complex NonEquilibrium
Systems at the Institut de Science et d'Ingénierie
Supramoléculaires (ISIS) of the University of Strasbourg that
was established in 2019.
ISIS is a mixed research unit of the French
National Centre for Scientific Research
(CNRS) and the University of Strasbourg
where scientists work on multidisciplinary
research at the interface between physics,
chemistry and biology. There, Professor
Thomas Hermans and his group developed
the liquid tube technology. He is
also the laboratory director at ISIS and a
co-founder of Qfluidics, presently serving
as its CSO.
Professor Thomas
Hermans,
co-founder and CSO
ISIS building at University of Strasbourg
Continue to next page for Figures 1-3 and for more info, see
www.qfluidics.com, www.elveflow.com, www.isis.unistra.fr.
www.MagneticsMag.com
http://www.isis.unistra.fr http://www.elveflow.com http://www.qfluidics.com http://www.MagneticsMag.com

Magnetics Business & Technology - May/June 2022

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Magnetics Business & Technology - May/June 2022

Magnetics Business & Technology - May/June 2022
Editor’s Choice/ Features
GM Powers Ahead with e-Propulsion Innovation & Investment, Cutting Deals with VAC, GE Renewable Energy and MP Materials
Giant Permanent-Magnet Turbines from GE to Power World’s Largest Offshore Wind Farm
Peer into the Future of Magnetics for Energy at ARPA-E Summit
Research & Development
Bakker Magnetics - Improving Energy Density of Permanent Magnets for e-Mobility Manufacturing
Tech Tips
Product News
Industry News
Annual Industry Resource Guide
Events Calendar/ Advertising Index
Visions
Magnetics Business & Technology - May/June 2022 - Magnetics Business & Technology - May/June 2022
Magnetics Business & Technology - May/June 2022 - Cover2
Magnetics Business & Technology - May/June 2022 - 3
Magnetics Business & Technology - May/June 2022 - Editor’s Choice/ Features
Magnetics Business & Technology - May/June 2022 - 5
Magnetics Business & Technology - May/June 2022 - GM Powers Ahead with e-Propulsion Innovation & Investment, Cutting Deals with VAC, GE Renewable Energy and MP Materials
Magnetics Business & Technology - May/June 2022 - 7
Magnetics Business & Technology - May/June 2022 - 8
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Magnetics Business & Technology - May/June 2022 - 13
Magnetics Business & Technology - May/June 2022 - Giant Permanent-Magnet Turbines from GE to Power World’s Largest Offshore Wind Farm
Magnetics Business & Technology - May/June 2022 - 15
Magnetics Business & Technology - May/June 2022 - 16
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Magnetics Business & Technology - May/June 2022 - Research & Development
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Magnetics Business & Technology - May/June 2022 - 24
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Magnetics Business & Technology - May/June 2022 - Tech Tips
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Magnetics Business & Technology - May/June 2022 - Product News
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Magnetics Business & Technology - May/June 2022 - Industry News
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Magnetics Business & Technology - May/June 2022 - Annual Industry Resource Guide
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Magnetics Business & Technology - May/June 2022 - 51
Magnetics Business & Technology - May/June 2022 - Events Calendar/ Advertising Index
Magnetics Business & Technology - May/June 2022 - 53
Magnetics Business & Technology - May/June 2022 - Visions
Magnetics Business & Technology - May/June 2022 - Cover3
Magnetics Business & Technology - May/June 2022 - Cover4
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