News Briefs (March 30, 2006)
Acrongenomics Inc., a Geneva, Switzerland-based biotechnology company; and Molecular Vision Ltd., a spinout of Imperial Innovations Ltd., a technology transfer subsidiary of Imperial College London; announced a joint R&D agreement to develop and commercialize a line of portable point-of-care diagnostic devices that will use Molecular Vision's diagnostic chips, which incorporate microfluidics and organic semiconductor devices (LEDs and photodetectors). The devices will enable on-the-spot quantitative/qualitative diagnosis for diabetes, drug abuse, sexually transmitted diseases and cardiovascular disease. The companies said the technology offers potential outside the diagnostics market and will be of use to specialists who lack access to on-site laboratory facilities. Molecular Vision co-founder Donal Bradley and his colleagues discovered organic polymer LEDs in 1989 at Cambridge University in England, where they founded Cambridge Display Technology Ltd. Bradley is now head of the physics department at Imperial College London, where Molecular Vision's other co-founders, Andrew de Mello and John de Mello, are professors. . . . Bodkin Design & Engineering LLC of Newton, Mass., was awarded a $70,000 contract from the US Navy to develop a compact hyperspectral digital imaging camera for use on unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). The company said the system is the first to combine its snapshot hyperspectral imaging with its line of UAV reconnaissance systems. The six-month demonstration project is funded under the Small Business Innovation Research program. Bodkin said hyperspectral imaging, or imaging spectroscopy, enables more accurate detection of materials and objects than conventional imaging. The device it will build for the Navy will capture spectral and spatial information in one instantaneous video frame. Key applications include missile defense, chemical defense, autonomous material identification and homeland security. . . . Satlantic Inc., a Halifax, Nova Scotia, maker of precision sensors and systems for the study of aquatic environments, was granted exclusive world licensing rights to a new imaging device known as the digital holographic microscope (DHM), and its supporting hologram reconstruction software, by Dalhousie University of Halifax through its licensing arm NuTech. The microscope enables high-resolution imaging of moving small samples -- a kind of miniature movie -- in real time; it is the result of 12 years of research by Jurgen Kreuzer and Manfred Jericho, professors in the physics and atmospheric science department at Dalhousie. It provides high-resolution images without a lens -- instead, it uses a laser point source to create a series of 2-D holograms from a 3-D sample that are then imaged onto a camera then reconstructed, using the software, into 3-D or 4-D images. It can also be used with satellites to beam images worldwide and has potential medical and biological applications, the university said. Dalhousie will receive royalties based on Satlantic’s sales, and Satlantic will produce the DHM and software for laboratory, industrial and on-site operations.
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