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Advance Nanotech, CAPE to Fund Biosensor Program to Detect Bird Flu

Photonics.com
Oct 2005
NEW YORK, Oct. 4 -- Nanotechnology acquisition and commercialization specialist Advance Nanotech Inc. is partnering with The Centre for Advanced Photonics and Electronics (CAPE) at the University of Cambridge in England to finance BiMAT, a new technology to create biosensors and sensor arrays that may aid in the early detection of avian influenza (bird flu) in humans and animals.

According to Advance Nanotech, one of the key applications for the BiMAT technology will be to enable first responders -- medics, EMTs and doctors -- to instantly analyze microscopic amounts of biological material for specific diseases on site. The company says BiMAT technology will eliminate the need to send samples to specialized laboratories, speeding treatment and reducing problems of handling, storage, mislabeling and treatment delay.

"There is a critical need for inexpensive biosensors capable of determining the concentration of different analytes using very small volumes of blood or other biological material in critical care environments, such as ambulances, field hospitals, emergency rooms and intensive care units," said Dr. Michael Helmus, Advance Nanotech's senior biopharma vice president. "The BiMAT technology is accurate and easy to use; it can be deployed in the field to aid in the detection of a variety of infectious diseases in animals and people. We expect this technology will enable the development of biosensors that can be used for the surveillance of emerging diseases such as avian influenza in remote locations allowing rapid response and containment of these diseases."

BiMAT is developing integrated, low cost and disposable sensors and sensor arrays that incorporate thin-film polysilicon transistors deposited on lightweight, inexpensive substrates for point-of-care diagnostics, clinical monitoring and biomolecular research. Patents have been filed on the sensor detection mechanism and a special thin-film transistor structure that enables integration and separate optimization of the electronic and sensor functions.

The investment in BiMAT was made in partnership with CAPE, the University of Cambridge's integrated research facility for electrical engineering that allows designers and engineers from academia and industry to both benefit from developments in advanced photonics and electronics. The CAPE program is funded by Advance Nanotech, Alps Electric Co. Ltd, Dow Corning Corp. and Marconi Corp.



GLOSSARY
nanotechnology
The use of atoms, molecules and molecular-scale structures to enhance existing technology and develop new materials and devices. The goal of this technology is to manipulate atomic and molecular particles to create devices that are thousands of times smaller and faster than those of the current microtechnologies.
photonics
The technology of generating and harnessing light and other forms of radiant energy whose quantum unit is the photon. The science includes light emission, transmission, deflection, amplification and detection by optical components and instruments, lasers and other light sources, fiber optics, electro-optical instrumentation, related hardware and electronics, and sophisticated systems. The range of applications of photonics extends from energy generation to detection to communications and...
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