Bioabsorbable self-folding tools for single cell capture and manipulation

Case ID:
Disclosure Date:
Biocompatible Micro – Grippers for Single Cell Analysis

JHU REF: [C12843]

Invention Novelty: Biocompatible, self- folding micro- grippers able to capture and manipulate a single cell activated by desired environmental stimulus for both in vivo and in vitro analysis


Value Proposition:  Scientists and engineers are consistently seeking improved tools for exploring the behavior of individual cells, but current biopsy tools collect samples too large and heterogeneous (mixed) misrepresenting the unique nature of a single cell. This technology is a completely tetherless, biocompatible micro-gripper able to capture a single cell activated by environmental stimuli, increasing precision and facilitating in vivo and in vitro analysis. Other advantages include:

·         Grippers trap whole cell, ideal for image analysis or targeted drug administration 

·         Customizable gripper model and surface patterns for varying cell type/ size

·         Possible development of specialized high-throughput assays

·         Biodegradable over-time for safe in vivo analysis


Technical Details: Johns Hopkins researchers have developed a tetherless, biocompatible micro-scale grippers for single cell capture and micro-environment analysis; offering its diverse applications for high-throughput assay development, targeted surgical biopsy sampling, to drug delivery. Its unique silicon composite and gripper design provide high tensile strengths while preserving whole -cell integrity when in contact and allows cell to remain exposed varying to biochemical, or physiological conditions. Grippers are customizable in fold-angle, tip thickness for specific cell types, and are passively activate via changes in temperature, or chemical environment.


Looking for Partners: To develop and commercialize the technology as a novel single cell analysis tool for in vitro and in vivo cell applications


Stage of Development: Prototype


Data Availability:  Under CDA/NDA


Patent Status: Pending


Publication(s)/Associated Cases: Angew.Chem.2014,126,1-6, Advanced Materials, 2013; 25 (4): 514, Gastroenterology, 2013; 144 (4):691,

Patent Information:
Title App Type Country Serial No. Patent No. File Date Issued Date Expire Date Patent Status
Bioabsorbable self-folding tools for single cell capture and manipulation ORD: Ordinary Utility United States 14/885,598 10/16/2015     Pending
For Information, Contact:
Brett Wolfinger
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