Most existing technologies for protein analysis rely on measuring changes of optical properties.
This can be a change in the refractive index in the case of SPR or a shift in the interference pattern for BLI. Optical measurements are extremely accurate, but this accuracy comes at the cost of complex optical components. These are not only very costly, but prone to failure and without any potential for miniaturisation.
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.
We use electrical detection only - no more optical components. The microchip at the heart of the sensor is capable of analysing proteins and their interactions in a simple and affordable plug & play tool that fits into the palm of your hand.
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.
Powered by graphene
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.
Combining this with a method for stable and fast surface functionalisation, we have been able to develop our newest tool - introducing HelloProtein.