Microfluidic cartridge design plays a key role in the successful development of a complete IVD system where ease of use, throughput, and cost per test are critical factors. This is particularly true for Point of Care Testing (POCT) applications in which the cartridge also acts as an easy and intuitive user hardware interface.
Design at the start
Invetech matures the microfluidic cartridge design ahead of the instrument by defining key user interactions. This allows maximum flexibility in design and results in a simpler and more effective cartridge concept.
Sometimes IVD instrument development can progress ahead of the consumable. This can be detrimental to the cartridge from a cost and schedule perspective, often requiring a redesign and added complexity, and leading to lower manufacturing yields and higher cost of goods.
This is where Invetech’s approach of balancing all the commercial program success factors as early as possible with the cartridge design can pay the biggest dividends.
People designing for people
Usability engineering can make the difference between a good and a bad product. Understanding the use environment and what other diagnostic tests users are accustomed to can provide key insights for the design of microfluidic cartridges that are intuitive and easy to use.
Often what seems very straightforward to an engineer can be completely confusing to a typical user. Early thinking about user interactions is critical to creating successful microfluidic cartridge designs. For example, user insights can inform how best to create a sample entry port or easy ways to indicate that the user has adequately filled the cartridge.
Simple things such as providing an obvious and easy-to-grasp handle as well as places for placing a custom label can make the difference between a design that is easy to use and one that is overly complex.
In a POCT system, thinking about ease of use, even for systems not attempting to achieve CLIA Waiver, can help create a better product overall.
Cartridge and product design under one roof
Invetech’s depth of experience in Point of Care product development, spanning instrument, cartridge, and cartridge assembly process and equipment, provides a unique advantage to customers looking to develop a POCT system, such as:
Identifying risks in the assembly process. We can provide valuable insight into potential risks associated with the cartridge assembly processes based on the design as well as assist with strategies to mitigate those risks.
Helping make trade-offs on complexity. By looking at the system design holistically, we can help our clients make decisions about where to add complexity and the associated risks and benefits.
Overcoming technical challenges. We can assist with developing and executing a technical design risk mitigation plan, as well as developing innovative solutions for overcoming specific technical challenges.
Developing cost estimates and production scale-up strategies. With experience developing automation for high volume consumable production, we can aid in estimating the cartridge cost at various production volumes, as well as planning and executing a production scale-up strategy that balances capital investment and forecast production demand.
Manufacturing cartridges at low volumes. We have the capability plus assembly and metrology equipment for low-volume cartridge manufacture to support high-volatility development stages.
Invetech, your single point of contact
We have all the requisite skills in-house for both the cartridge and instrument development. This allows the entire project team to have full visibility into the complete development path, key to driving the optimal solution in the fastest time possible, with the least re-iterative efforts.
What we bring
Invetech’s capabilities to bring a client’s system to market, complete with cartridge and instrument integration, include: