Development of a novel cost-effective microfluidic platform for screening ophthalmic drugs and novel ophthalmic materials

The successful development of new drug formulations, delivery vehicles, and devices for the eye requires testing in physiologically relevant in vitro eye models. The use of cell tissue culture plates provides a good model for testing toxicity, but they lack some of the important factors present on the eye. There are microfluidic chips that have been developed for toxicity testing, but they are too expensive for use in early screening protocols.This project aims to develop a cost-effective microfluidic chip for rapid assessment of cytotoxicity of ophthalmic formulations and devices. The design, fabrication, and sterilization of the chips will use scalable methods. The chips will be designed using CAD software, and the resulting designs will be laser cut on acrylic. The resulting pieces will be laminated using double-sided medical adhesive and sterilized using hydrogen peroxide plasma.Conventional cell culturing methods will be employed to seed and grow human corneal epithelial cells on the chips. Validation studies will examine cell growth on the chips in comparison to an established control. Several toxicity studies will also be examined using the microfluidic chip, including the effects of flow, benzalkonium chloride at various concentrations, and contact lens materials exposed to preservatives.?

Faculty Supervisor:

Lyndon Jones


Furqan Maulvi






Professional, scientific and technical services


University of Waterloo



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