Pu•MA Technology

Practical Microfluidics for Bioanalysis

The Pu·MA System – Pneumatically driven Microfluidic Assays

The PuMA System is a practical and affordable benchtop instrument that runs low-volume ELISA assays. It is a truly open platform that can run assays using your existing antibody pairs, or with commercially available ELISA kits.  The underlying technology is our proprietary Valve-less Fluidic Switching (VLFS) that provides complex fluid control on a simple flowchip.  The PuMA platform has been designed to fit seamlessly into your current laboratory workflow.

  • Runs complete ELISA in < 3 hours with “hands-off” processing
  • Reduces sample and reagent volumes to 10 – 20 μl
  • Works with your existing ELISA kits and antibody pairs
  • Multiwell plate format to work with standard Plate Readers

How it Works

The Pu·MA Flowchip and System uses established antibody pairs to perform an automated ELISA.  All assay reagents are loaded into reservoirs and then moved one at a time through the “Assay Channel” by the Pu·MA System. Preloaded protocols execute all fluid transfer and incubation steps The system incorporates patented valve-less fluidic switching (VLFS) to precisely control fluid movement in a flowchip. Use of microfluidics reduces both incubation times and reagent volumes.

Microfluidics Benefits

  • High Signal – Large surface area for antibody binding (~30mm2)
  • Small channels – Low sample and reagent usage (<20μl/well)
  • Large surface-to-volume ratio – Enhanced kinetics, Faster assay results
  • Hydrodynamic fluid removal – Less Wash Required

Reagent Loading Setup

  • All reagents pre-loaded into flowchip
  • Reagents are transferred one-by-one through the assay channel to form analyte “sandwich” structures
  • Incubation and Wash steps performed automatically
  • Substrate reacts with HRP in the channel and then is moved to the Read Well which is pre-loaded with Stop Solution
  • Open-platform accommodates wide range of assays

Microfluidic Assay Steps


Valve-Less Fluidic Switching

Valve-Less Fluidic Switching (VLFS) is a patent pending technology that allows precise fluid control in a microfluidic device without the need of mechanical microvalves or integrated moving parts.  Benefits include:

  • Enables a broad range of immunoassays and other life science applications
  • Programmable & automated flow switching and combinatorial mixing
  • Compatible with injection molded thermoplastics for large scale production
  • Uses hydrophobic barriers to control fluids – no integrated valves or pumps

How does it work?  Microfluidic flowchips are setup as a combination of Reservoirs (A,B,C & D) and Nodes (N) connected by channels.  Hydrophobic barriers are used to keep fluids in desired wells.  Pneumatic pressure gradients are applied to transfer fluid from one Reservoir to another via a Node.   An example is shown below where two reagents are transferred to different wells through the same Node.   Watch a movie of VLFS in action!

Capillary Fluid Flow Control



Featured News

Jul 9, 2020 Protein Fluidics' Organoid Research Award: Prof. Matthew E. Burow & team (Tulane Univ)
Jan 25, 2020
Protein Fluidics launches Pu·MA System 3D for automated organoid assays
December 4, 2018
Protein Fluidics partners with BioLegend to provide Assay Products

May 4, 2018 Protein Fluidics announces the Pu·MA system
October 1, 2016 Protein Fluidics moves into new headquarters in Burlingame, CA
April 6, 2016 Protein Fluidics closes Series seed round of investment

For Research Use Only. Not for diagnostic use. Protein Fluidics, Protein Fluidics Logo and Pu•MA System are registered trademarks of Protein Fluidics, Inc. in the United States and internationally. All rights reserved. © 2021 PROTEIN FLUIDICS, INC.