Wendy Dittmer, Principal Scientist, Philips Research
We present a handheld integrated testing technology that is able to perform a multiplex of sensitive, high performance quantitative assays in parallel from a single finger-prick sample. The recently developed biosensor employs precisely actuated magnetic particles and a robust optical imagining technique. For a high degree of flexibility in performing individual assays the current device has been engineered with multiple chambers, several separate actuation zones and numerous distinct capture probe/antibody regions, all contained in a compact, inexpensive system. The key distinguishing feature of the technology is the use of superparamagnetic particles to concentrate and to discriminate bound and unbound target molecules at high speed. A system of electromagnets built in the analyzer precisely controls the motion of the particles through a sequence of molecularly-tuned actuation steps. Because in the device the particles are actuated, minimal fluid actuation is required and thus a simple, low sample volume cartridge can be utilized. The use of particles as labels also allows several detection technologies to be employed for high sensitivity. The magnetic biosensor technology provides multiplexing in a rapid, easy-to-use format without compromising on analytical performance for high quality results in a wide range of demanding near patient environments.