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Patent of the Month: August 2020

Patent of the Month: Real-Time Quantitative Measurements of Cell Migration and Invasion. Patent 10,514,359

Technology Description

This invention is a microfluidic platform that can generate real-time, quantitative measurements of cell migration and invasion through porous membranes.  This system uses microfabricated electronic components built on both sides of porous membranes to produce the electronic signals that can “display” the movement of cells from one side of the membrane to the opposite, while it is occurring.  The movement of cells through the pores also can be visualized using optical microscopy.

gold-patterened permeable PET membrane suspended between two PDMS microfluidic networks.
Credit: Darwin R. Reyes-Hernandez and Brian Nablo


Darwin R. Reyes-Hernandez

Brian Nablo

Technology Types

Biochemical Science

Electron Physics


In this invention, a ratio of electrical measurements taken on both sides of the membrane start changing as cell migration progresses.  Therefore, this makes this invention a controlled system in which normalized quantification occurs due to electrodes being set up within the same device.  The progression of movement (cell migration) from one side of the membrane to the opposite side is tracked in real-time and in a quantitative way using the electrical measured magnitude (e.g., impedance) on both sides of the membrane. This system simplifies the tedious, end point conventional process of counting cells and adds dynamic measurement capability via simultaneous electronic and optical measurements.

Licensing Inquiries may be sent to TPO [at] NIST.GOV

View other patents of the month here.

Created July 23, 2020, Updated August 23, 2023