ALine, Inc. – Accelerated Microfluidic Development


Microfluidic Cell Culture Device Patent Awarded

November 15, 2013 – After a seven year process with the USPTO, a patent has been awarded for our controlled flow microfluidic cell culture device (the MicroSlide). This cell culture card was developed for the NASA Astrobionics program in 2004-2005. The unique advantages of this microfluidic cell culture card are: 1) a single inlet channel feeds each of the cell culture chambers at the same rate; 2) sterile isolation of the contents of each chamber.


The principle of the MicroSlide’s unique flow control relies on the placement of macroporous membranes as the inlet and outlet of each fluid chamber. The membrane area, porosity, and thickness contribute to the resistance of fluid flow into and out of each chamber. As a result only a single inlet channel and outlet channel are required to maintain equivalent flow across each cell culture chamber.

Contact us to learn more how this product can be used for your cell culture experiments.

The NASA Astrobionics program’s mission is to conduct biological experiments in near earth orbit on autonomous satellites engineered to grow and maintain living cell cultures. The goal is to study the effect of weightlessness and radiation on growing cells. The stringent requirements for compact size, low power consumption, and ruggedness resulted in the successful launch an automated satellite system the size of a loaf of bread (nano satellite) that had ALine’s controlled flow microfluidic cell culture card in the heart of the system.

To learn more about the cell culture card’s flight into near earth orbit, see our case studies. Or visit our technical articles page to read the publication.

New Website to Launch on September 15th

Our new website will describe our services more thoroughly, and include a section on case studies of successful programs we have worked on.

On Board Metering, Mixing, Debubbling and Dispensing

Our video demonstrates four key functions for multi-step tests in a microfluidic device: Metering, Mixing, Degassing before Dispensing to the detection region.We demonstrate metering of two different volumes to create a 1:10 dilution, mix, debubble and then deliver to a detection region for imaging.

The chip shown in the video we used multiple times and performed all the steps completely, even with repeated use.

Looking to the Future

It was nice to connect with current customers, and to get the word out about our capabilities at MD&M West. We find more and more new biotech start ups in the LA basin that are glad ALine is close by. This event for us is like a party where we can socialize and learn what’s new with our business partners and customers. Doing something new is what keeps every business current and able to adapt to shifts in customer needs. This year we are focusing on automation development to support mid-volume production of fluid circuit devices. We are expanding our offering to include design and prototyping of injection molded components, as well as thermal and direct bonding of polymer films. We are investing in more robust blister pack technology for prototyping and low volume production along with reagent deposition capabilities. This will allow our customers to integrate and source all the components needed for a complete product solution.

Visit us at MD&M West Feb 12-14 Booth 1384

Join us at this year’s MD&M West. Our pneumatic instrument platform now has remote control using either a smart phone or iPad. Talk with our engineering staff to learn how we can support your product development program. to learn more about our automation capability, see our January  NewsletterALine MD&M West Booth 1384

Curry Wurst am MEDICA

ALine's Booth 8b G20-1

New booth graphics show off devices we’ve made in the past. Our updated brochures highlight case studies in which we discuss successful programs

ALine’s engineering team is enjoying the local cuisine in Düsseldorf!

This year we are seeing a lot more booth activity and fair-goers like our new logo card with the SD Micro card that contains all our company literature.

If you are in Düsseldorf at MEDICA/COMPAMED, stop by booth 8b G20-1.

COMPAMED starts today in Düsseldorf

ALine booth 8BG20-12012 COMPAMED

ALine booth 8BG20-1

The finishing touches were made today, and the show opens on the 14th at 10AM. Our engineering staff is enjoying German cuisine, and visiting local points of interest, such as Köln.

ALine a Finalist for the 2012 Patrick Soon Shiong Innovation Award

Since 2010, Patrick Soon Shiong, the LA Business Journal, and Nantworks co-sponsor an award created to “honor and acknowledge the people and organizations that stretch the boundaries and have proven to be leaders in innovation”.

We are very honored to be among fourteen finalists who were chosen by a committee of forward thinking leaders in Los Angeles. The winning companies will be announced on November 15th at a gala celebration dinner at the Beverly Hills Four Seasons Hotel where all the finalists will be honored.

Wish us luck!

Featured Case Studies

Our new Case Studies Brochure provide insights into the unique ways ALine’s Integrative Polymeric Platform (IPP)  supports product development. Our approach shortens the design-build-test cycle and allows our clients to evaluate new design modifications in less than a week. Fully functional Lab-on-a-Chip devices, with on-board valves, blister packs, and sensors, have acheived proof of concept in less than six months.

ALine Commended for Work on R&D 100 Award Winning Product

The US Department of Energy won 36 R&D 100 awards in 2012. One of those projects, run by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, was for Desiccant-Enhanced Evaporative Air-Conditioning (DEVAP). The system was developed with AIL Research and Synapse Product Development LLC. The DEVAP systems cool commercial buildings at a small fraction of the energy use of a traditional cooler. It could cut costly peak electricity demand by 80 percent.

Critical to the development of a working DEVAP prototype system, was the use of ALine’s Polymer Laminate Technology (PLT) to produce the evaporative panels required to demonstrate the system.

Mr. Dylan Garrett, Business Development Director at Synapse, LLC, said, “ALine was critical to the success of this project and went above and beyond to prototype our very complex and technically challenging designs to meet an aggressive timeline. This excellent support is the reason we keep coming back to ALine with all of our laminated flow cell projects” .

Dr. Levine commented, “Our microfluidics expertise in laminate devices made it possible for us to support design changes to enhance the performance as well as improve the ease of production of these large panels. Although it was well outside our normal dimensions for devices, I am proud that our team put in the effort to meet a critical deadline, even working over the weekend.”

ALine’s award winning services has supported micro device development in medical, industrial, and agricultural industries. Projects range from cell culture in space, to field portable, Point-of-Use microfluidic cartridges, and Lab-on-a-Chip products. Our rapid prototyping platform shortens the product development cycle, while providing a cost effective solution for low to mid volume production of specialty, micro manufactured products. ISO 9001:2008 certified.

The R&D 100 award, sponsored by R&D Magazine, has been awarded annually since 1963. Winning one of the R&D 100 Awards provides a mark of excellence known to industry, government, and academia as proof that the product is one of the most innovative ideas of the year, nationally and internationally.