Nanotech diagnostic startup sees first commercial deal
A spinout company from the National Physical Laboratory (NPL) has won a key deal to supply a diagnostic monitoring system for testing athletes training in the UK.
Argento Diagnostics started in 2006 with technology and underlying science developed by Rob Porter, Principal Research Scientist in the Biophysics & Biodiagnostics Group through a three-year, NPL Strategic Research Fellowship.
It has developed a handheld tester based on magnetic and silver nanoparticles that can provide quick analysis of key compounds in the body, rather than having to send samples to a central lab. It also combines Bluetooth and WiFi technology for easy data management, and the systems will be used by UK Sport for testing athletes.
“This technology was developed to provide quick and simple diagnosis of a broad range of conditions,” said Keith Page, CEO of Argento Diagnostics.
“The deal with UK Sport will allow a dramatically increased understanding of how the human body works when being pushed to its limit and we can use that information to continue to improve physical performance. This is a great example of the UK’s world-leading science expertise supporting our world-leading sportsmen and women.”
The device can provide rapid diagnosis of a wide range of medical conditions, from cardiac damage to swine flu, allowing faster delivery of treatment and so has opportunities in emergency treatment as well as veterinary, bio-defence and environmental applications. Argento are in talks with several organisations in all these areas, as well as looking for investors.
Nick Flaherty has been covering technology and startups since 1990 and is based in Bristol, where he co-founded the SiliconSouthWest network. During that time he has worked for most of the electronics magazines and newspapers in the UK and several in Europe and the US, covering all areas of the industry. He blogs at The Embedded blogwww.embeddedblog.blogspot.com and Portable Multimediawww.portablemultimedia.blogspot.com and at www.flaherty.co.uk.