Microfluidic agarose channel

Microfluidic agarose channel

The Microfluidic Agarose Channel (MAC) is a technique that enables a mixture of agarose and bacteria to form a thin film in a microstructure, allowing bacteria to grow in solidified agarose. The thin gel structure enables the diffusion of the growth media, allowing the growth of bacteria in solidified agarose. Bacteria are fixed in the agarose but able to grow, making it easy to examine microscopic observations of cells. These features allow for quick and accurate determine of antimicrobial susceptibility. The microfluidic agarose channel technology is implemented in multiwell plate structure in dRAST and QDST panels.


Mix the positive blood culture sample
with agarose and load it on the chip.


Fix bacteria by solidifying the mixture of
agarose and sample injected in liquid form.


Dissolve Dried antibiotic with media, and
diffuse into the agarose gel through the microfluidic channel.


Examine the reaction of bacteria under antibiotic conditions through microscope.

dRAST is based on QuantaMatrix’s patented MAC technology which observes the growth of bacteria immobilized in the gel matrix using microscopic time-lapse imaging. Since it can detect bacterial growth quickly even in the existence of blood cells, the sub-culture process is not necessary. This enables dRAST to provide faster results by up to 2-3 days compared to conventional AST methods which are designed only for pure bacterial isolates. With a wide inoculum acceptance range, there is no need for a process to control the amount of bacteria inoculation (McFarland).

The MAC technology is also applied to QDST, drug susceptibility test for tuberculosis. QDST can provide TB drug susceptibility test result in just one week, compared to 4-6 weeks with conventional methods. The faster result can help clinicians optimize therapy for patients sooner and prevent the spread of drug resistant TB through early detection.