HexagonFab enables a new generation of biosensors that bring the sensitivity of laboratory tests to the point-of-care.
These will decrease time of medical diagnosis from 4-6 hours to less than 1 hour.
Based on nearly a decade of research at the University of Cambridge, we have developed methods for industrial scale manufacture of novel nanomaterials that are a key component of these biosensors.
Thus for the first time opening the pathway towards large scale production and commercialisation.
The main application of the sensor will be the rapid diagnosis of Influenza at the point of care.
Influenza outbreaks and pandemics pose an ongoing strain on hospital resources, especially in the emergency room, where patients must be evaluated for Influenza before treatment.
Currently, the standard method of testing is laboratory based and slow, thus requiring the patients to wait in the hospital for an extended period before being discharged or treated.
HexagonFab’s sensor will enable fast diagnosis, when the patient arrives in the emergency room, thus significantly cutting costs and infection risks for patients.
The biosensor is composed of two elements: the electric circuit with the integrated nanomaterial, which acts as the transducer, and a capture molecule that is attached onto the nanomaterial as part of the surface functionalisation.
The latter grants the sensor specificity, i.
enables the targeted binding of the substance that is to be detected.
The interplay of these two components is of crucial importance for the overall sensitivity and selectivity of the sensor.
Thus it is necessary to gain a deep understanding of the interaction between the nanomaterial and the capture molecules, which is only possible through advanced characterisation techniques.
The A4I project of InnovateUK offers the opportunity for the collaboration with leading research institutions in the UK that have the unique expertise and equipment for such project.
This project is of major importance for the optimisation of the sensor and will help to significantly lower costs and the development time required.