Connecticut Patent of the Month – January 2024

Mechanical exclusion uses filters to sieve and separate larger particles from a fluid medium. By its very nature, this process is prone to clogging and pressure drops. As the pressure drops, clogs increase, and a cyclical process takes place as efficiency in the filtration process drops. Ancera, Inc is working to overcome this, bringing reliability and efficiency to filtration. Recently, the company has been granted a patent for their process of extracting target particles from ferrofluids.

At the core of Ancera’s innovation lies a meticulously designed microchannel system. This system receives a flow containing a multitude of target particles and background particles in a ferrofluid. A series of electrodes are strategically placed to control magnetic fields along the microchannel.

The first magnetic field, a focusing excitation, is generated to channel the flow of target particles. This field, intricately crafted by the electrodes, orchestrates the rotation of particles in a specific direction, leading them to converge on the surface of a capture region. Here, the magic unfolds – the capture region, adorned with capture molecules, selectively binds with the target particles, capturing them with unparalleled precision.

The second magnetic field then incites a defocusing excitation. This maneuver is designed to remove unbound particles from the capture region without disrupting the carefully captured target particles. The defocusing excitation causes a rotation in a different direction, effectively ushering away the background particles while leaving the captured targets undisturbed.

The detector, a key player in this system, steps in to discern the intricacies of the bound target particles. It can be an automated scanning microscope, a sensitive mass balance, or an electrochemical sensor – a testament to the versatility of Ancera’s invention.

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