Researchers from CSIC, the Spanish National Institute for Aerospace Technology (INTA) and the private Spanish company SENER have developed a portable system to analyze multiple samples and to detect and simultaneously characterize up to thousands of different analytes in a single test.
The system (liable to remote control handling) takes advantage of the recent technology of DNA and proteins microarrays, but sample preparation is substantially reduced, and the whole process is robotized. The apparatus comprises a series of operating modules, in which the samples are manipulated, treated and analized, and a series of controlling modules that control the operating ones. Samples to be analyzed can be at liquid or solid state, or even in suspension. For its homogenization an homogeneous mixture is formed between the sample and a salt solution or buffer, in order to disgragate the particulates extremely and to solve the analytes. Laterly, the homogenized sample is subjected to different processes: chemical, biochemical and biological change, or physical modifications like filtration, concentration, etc. The result of the processing can be the molecular marking of the analytes in the sample. This molecular marking consists in a fluorescent substance or any other agent that enables the posterior identification of the modified analyte. Once the sample has been processed, it gets in contact to a sensor constituted by one or more substances able to interact with analytes in the sample. The final object is the detection of the analytes which are bounded into the sensor. To do so, a series of devices for the marked analytes detection is provided. If these analytes have been modified by a fluorescent substance (fluorochrome), a radiation source to excite the fluorochrome and a fluorescence detector are provided. Detected data are processed by a software that is prepared to provide a final submission of results by means of a "bits" map which originates an image susceptible to be computerized, either by the data reading module software or by a remote station.
European patent application filed (EP 20040735244)
US Patent Application filed (US 2007099189)
Patent granted in Japan (published as JP 4486964 B1)
Chinese patent application filed (CN 20048022382, published as CN 1833167)
Development under a patent license agreement (development under contracted research is much preferred).
Dr Jose Pablo Zamorano
Life Sciences Licensing Coordinator
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