Drug Screening Chip Customization and Processing

In the process of new drug research and development, drug screening is to adopt appropriate methods for substances that may be used as drugs, detect their possible pharmacological activities, and provide experimental data for the development of new drugs. Appropriate drug screening strategies can improve the efficiency of screening and shorten the development cycle of new drugs.

Rapid and efficient high-throughput screening has been widely developed and applied before and has become one of the main technical means of drug screening, but it has some limitations, such as large test dose consumed by porous plates, difficult sample distribution and operation, expensive equipment, and so on.

Microfluidic chips based on microprocessing technology can overcome the limitation of high-throughput drug screening due to their advantages of fast analysis speed, low reagent consumption, easy integration, and high-throughput analysis. They are now widely used in the preliminary screening of drugs.

Drug Screening Chip Customization and Processing

Advantages of Microfluidic Chips for Drug Screening

Using microfluidic technology to develop microfluidic array cell chips for high-throughput drug screening has many unique advantages.

  • Microfluidic chips can integrate 256 or more cell culture cavity arrays, change the conventional cell culture methods, and realize the high throughput of cell drug screening. Moreover, the micro-nanoliter volume of the chip greatly reduces the reagent consumption and the cost of drug screening;
  • Two-dimensional or three-dimensional microstructure regions designed by the microfluidic chip can produce low shear force, make a variety of compounds enter and mix, form a concentration gradient, and observe the response of cells to different concentrations of drugs, so as to analyze the toxicity of drugs to cells;
  • The integration advantage of a microfluidic chip is very obvious. Devices such as microvalves, micropumps, and electrodes can be integrated in the chip. In addition, many steps such as drug synthesis, separation and enrichment, experimental cell culture, and drug effect detection can be integrated into one chip. This will enable the automatic analysis of drug screening.

Manufacturing Methods

The manufacturing methods for microfluidic chips include lithography, numerical control machining, hot pressing, molding, injection molding, LIGA technology, laser etching, and so on. Following is a description of how these methods work.

  • Lithography Method

Chip processing is achieved through design drawings, plate making, photoresist, exposure, and development, etc.

  • Forming Method

This technology is mainly used to manufacture polymer chips. The main method is to obtain the mold by lithography, and then solidify the liquid polymer on the mold to obtain the chip.

  • Numerical Control Machining

The microchannel is precisely carved by a precision engraving machine, and then the chip is formed by sealing, bonding, and other methods.

  • Other Methods

Other methods include laser etching, soft lithography, hot pressing, and non-traditional methods such as drawing capillaries to form microchannels.

Capabilities of Alfa Chemistry

  • Eight-hole drug screening chip
  • Multi-channel drug screening chip
  • Molecular/individual/embryo level drug screening chip
  • Concentration gradient drug screening chip
  • Drug screening PDMS microfluidic chip
  • Drug screening microfluidic cell array chip

If you need drug screening chip processing and customized services, please feel free to contact our experts for a free consultation.


  • Liu, X.; et al. Cell-based assays on microfluidics for drug screening. ACS sensors. 2019 May 10;4(6):1465-75.

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