European group develop lab-on-chip DNA tester
A European project is planning to commercialise a lab-on-a-chip.Called LabOnFoil, the kit is designed to identify a particular type of DNA.
A credit card-sized, plastic test unit is pre-loaded with the appropriate reagents for the test required. A thin film of plastic is laminated on top to seal in the reagents and this is flexible enough to act as valves when moving the liquids though the various stages such as polymerase chain reaction to replicate and increase the DNA.
The sample is sucked up into the supplied syringe where it mixes with the initial reagents and is then squirted into a reservoir on the LabCard.
The LabCard is then inserted into a LabCardReader reader unit that automatically heats the LabCard, and opens and closes the valves on it to move the test sample through the preparation stages.
The last step is to detect fluorescence that indicates the presence of the target DNA which can be in concentrations at low as a few femtograms of DNA in 30 minutes.
The technology has been developed by IK4-Ikerlan and Cowin is helping with the commercialisation.
“We are now helping IK4-Ikerlan plan the strategy to develop this product line further with multi-pathogen detection, handheld readers that plug into smartphones, new markets, etc. Potential customers are very excited as there are now real working products that can offer significant,” said Geraldine Adrieux Gustin, the Cowin coordinator.
There will be a COWIN Marketplace on 28 September 2012 at the EPoSS Annual Forum in Paris where companies can meet and network with COWIN experts to identify new business and technology opportunities.