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Multiplexing liquid system in biosensor microchambers

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Prototypes, trials and pilot schemes
Analytical Chemistry
Micro- and Nanotechnology
Sensor Technology related to measurements
Components testing equipment
Other analytical and scientific instrumentation
Micro- and Nanotechnology related to Biological sciences
Other pollution and recycling related
Technical testing and analysis
Research and experimental development on biotechnology


Three Spanish institutions and an Italian university have developed a device for simultaneous multianalyte analysis in a fluid. A set of microchambers with a plurality of biosensors within operates under pulsating flow mode ensuring the same liquid flux per channel. The technology can be used for on-site, real time, autonomous quantification of pollutants for environmental control in sea or river waters. Industrial partners are sought to collaborate in its development through a license agreement



Chemical contamination of estuarine and coastal areas is a highly complex issue with negative implications for the environment and human health (through the food chain) and related coastal industries such as fisheries. Early warning systems that can provide extreme sensitivity with exquisite selectivity are required. Current methods to determine water pollution are expensive, do not allow efficient real-time continuous measurements and lack of precision to detect several pollutants in a reproducible way.
The system presented is characterized in that different immunosensor micro-chambers are connected along a fluidic circuit though a plurality of injection paths allowing the sequential crossing of a functional liquid to the different single micro-chambers ensuring the same flux per channel. This system overcomes the main drawbacks of current schemes, namely the fact that different amounts of liquid enter the biosensor micro-chambers and the difficulty to supply the micro-chambers with a sufficiently precise liquid low flow rate.
The micro-chambers containing the respective biosensors are flooded cyclically, one at a time, with a pulsing liquid flow through sequentially temporized micro-valves. This liquid subdivision (multiplexing) is driven by a microprocessor firmware controlling the opening/closing of the micro-valves according to analytes and biosensors requirements.
In a full, complex device, suitable functional liquids can also be used to restore (regenerate) biosensor electrodes allowing the execution of autonomous, automated, temporized, on site subsequent measurements.
A functional 8-channels prototype has been successfully tested for in situ analysis of 7 pollutants in seawater (including antifoulants, endocrine disruptors, POPs, biotoxins, pesticides and antibiotics).
The Partners have broad experience in the development of biosensors and electrical readout systems. The centers are searching for companies that develop analytical devices interested in the implementation of this biosensor system for the detection of analytes in different fields, in especial determination of pollutants for environmental control, under a patent licence. Companies interested in this technology should carry out either by themselves or through research collaboration with these organizations some further work to reach the market for tailored applications.

Advantages & innovations

Cooperation plus value: 
• Accurate, predetermined and uniformly distributed amount of liquid multiplexed to immunososensor micro-chambers allows homogeneous multiplexed analytes analysis. • Pulsing flow mode enhances contact of the functional liquid with biosensor electrodes surface, allowing better efficiency of the functional liquid including antigens accumulation, electrodes washing and biosensor regeneration for subsequent analysis. • Precise reduction of the total flow rate for each micro-chamber. • Parallel micro-chambers are isolated from each other preventing interference during the simultaneous analyses of the biosensors. • The system can be used for in situ monitoring of sea/river/fresh water pollutants or other components quantification and analysis of complex samples in laboratory biosensor devices.

Stage of development

Cooperation stage dev stage: 
Prototype available for demonstration

Partner sought

Cooperation area: 
Type of partner sought: 1) Manufacturer of analytical devices for environmental control. 2) Companies interested in developing specific applications - Task to be performed by the partner sought: development of the commercial device

Type and size

Cooperation task: 
R&D Institution