• darkblurbgdarkblurbg
  • darkblurbg
  • darkblurbg
  • darkblurbg
Center of BioModular Multi-Scale Systems for Precision Medicine
A National Biotechnology Resource Center
Picture of replicated part

CBM2 Vision

CBM2 is a multi-institutional Center (The University of Kansas, Louisiana State University, and The University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill), and is supported by the Biotechnology Resource Center mechanism from the National Institutes of Health (National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering; NIBIB).

CBM2 vision is to design, manufacture, and deliver new tools to the biomedical community that utilize liquid biopsies for disease detection and management — Precision Medicine. Our vision is being realized through the delivery of innovative and fully automated mixed-scale systems programmed for different disease states.

Core Technologies

CBM2 has built strong infrastructure to support our Core Technologies in terms of equipment, expertise across many different disciplines (engineering, medicine, basic sciences), and training programs. With the geographical distribution of our partnering institutions, we can provide collaboration and service opportunities for a wide range of researchers from academic, governmental, and industrial settings.

  • Designing, and fabricating plastic-based microfluidic and nanofluidic devices for a broad range of biomedical areas.
  • Developing innovative tools for the analysis of liquid biopsy markers to enable precision medicine.

Plastic Microfluidics and Nanofluidics

plastic microfluidics and nanofluidics
In vitro diagnostics is a growing area in the medical field, especially with the advent of precision medicine. New tools are needed to allow for better patient outcome, especially when using liquid biopsy markers. Challenges with delivering microfluidic and nanofluidic devices for in vitro diagnostics includes:

  • Manufacturing in a high-scale production mode at low cost to translate devices into the in vitro diagnostic area.
  • Integrated systems that can fully automate the sample processing pipeline, especially when dealing with liquid biopsy samples.

New technologies evolving from CBM2 seek to overcome these challenges.

  • Revolutionizing the area of plastics engineering, where we can manufacture microfluidic and even nanofluidic devices in plastics using a variety of replication-based techniques.
  • Developing robust methods to assemble cover plates to devices with high process yield rates for both microfluidic and nanofluidic devices.
  • A wealth of experiences in modifying the chemical properties of plastic microfluidic and nanofluidic devices to accommodate applications in biology, medicine, and other areas.
  • Developing integrated and modular systems to allow for full process automation, which is important for processing liquid biopsy samples in the clinical laboratory.

Analysis of Liquid Biopsy Markers


Liquid biopsies are generating a significant amount of interest in the medical community due to the minimally invasive nature of acquiring these biomarkers. These biomarkers include but are not limited to rare cells such as circulating tumor cells (CTCs), cell-free molecules such as cell free DNA (cfDNA), and extracellular vesicles (EVs). The challenge with the use of liquid biopsy markers are;

  • Must be selected from complex biological fluids, such as blood.
  • Exist as a vast minority in clinical samples.

  • Number of diseased markers is low and in most cases, cannot be accommodated by benchtop molecular analysis platforms.

CBM2 has developed the necessary isolation tools for selecting liquid biopsy markers from a variety of clinical samples. With the advent of precision medicine, the molecular cargo must be analyzed as well. To address these issues, CBM2 is:

  • Producing plastic microfluidic devices that can isolate with high efficiency a host of liquid biopsy markers. The devices are made via injection molding to support high scale production at low cost.
  • Modular and integrated systems for the selection of liquid biopsy markers followed by the analysis of their molecular cargo using innovative molecular assays.

Dr. Steven Soper's Expert Exchange

Expert Exchange - Dr. Steven Soper from KCALSI on Vimeo.

Collaborative & Service Projects

The Center seeks to disseminate its Core Technologies into the research and clinical domains. The Center can accomplish this through a variety of mechanisms and is enthusiastic to discuss this with you. In particular, we can support efforts in such areas as liquid biopsy analyses, and designing and building microfluidic and nanofluidic devices for a variety of application areas.

Read More

Visiting Scholar Program

Prof. Jason Emory of Pfeiffer University. Prof. Emory was a visiting scholar at our Center in the summer of 2019 and worked at the University of Kansas – Lawrence.

CBM2 invites researchers (national and international) at all levels and interested in learning more about our core competencies, which include plastic-based microfluidics/nanofluidics and liquid biopsies, to visit our laboratories for extended periods-of-time as part of our visiting scholar program. Due to the geographical distribution of our Center, visiting scholars can select to visit UNC-Chapel Hill, Louisiana State University, or the University of Kansas (the Medical Center or the Lawrence campus).

During your stay, you can directly participate in experiments that match your learning needs. The length of stay is entirely up to the visiting scholar; we have had visiting scholars that have stayed over the summer months or even an entire year. If you are interested, please click on the “Read More” tab below to learn more about this program.

Precision Medicine

Precision Medicine

The "Precision Medicine" initiative was announced by President Obama in his January 20th, 2016 State of the Union address. President Obama said he wanted the United States to "lead a new era of medicine, one that delivers the right treatment at the right time."

Rather than the current one-size-fits-all approach, drugs will be tailored to individuals allowing doctors to target the precise form a disease takes in any individual and avoid administering drugs that may be ineffective or even harmful.

CBM2 is making timely and important discoveries for the Precision Medicine initiative by developing state-of-the-art tools that can transition quickly into the clinic to provide diagnostic and prognostic information currently inaccessible to the patient due to limitations in current testing platforms.

News & Events