Currently, most analytical instruments predominantly use optical technology and thus require complex and bulky equipment that leads to high running costs and maintenance schedules. Our approach is based on an all-electric detection - no more optical components! The microchip at the heart of the sensor is capable of analysing proteins and their interactions in a simple, affordable, benchtop plug & play plate reader - HexagonFab Bolt.
Our goal is to democratise protein characterisation, by making it significantly more affordable, easier to use and faster than ever before. Driven by advances in nanotechnology, microelectronics and advanced algorithms, we have developed an entirely different approach.
Our sensor, a stamp sized microchip, detects the electrical charge of biomolecules. Binding events are directly translated into a digital signal. We are building on the technology driving field effect transistors (FET), the device that has enabled the computational revolution of the 20th century, and combined it with the most recent advances in nanotechnology to create the bio-FET.
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The bio-FET is driven by a single atomic layer of a carbon crystal - graphene. Changes in the electrical charges in its environment affect the electrical properties of the graphene layer. Thus, we are able to detect minute electrical charge changes allowing the detection of biomolecule binding with high precision.
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Building on years of research at the University of Cambridge, we have developed the methods to produce and manipulate these atomically thin crystals with the required precision.
Together with a method for stable and fast surface functionalisation, cutting-edge engineering and enabling software, we are bringing new tools to advance the research and development of novel therapeutics.