Biophage to release novel biosensor

By Dr Matt Wilkinson

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Bacteria

Biophage will soon release its PDS96 Biosensor, allowing fast and
highly cost-efficient early stage pre-clinical screening of drug
candidates.

Biophage has developed a new impedance spectrometer, which can be used to simultaneously measure the growth of up to 96 cell or bacteria cultures in a highly efficient and easy to use automated system. The biosensor has a small footprint suitable for portable applications and benefits from requiring only small sample volumes of less than half a millilitre.

The biosensor will find applications in many different industries, including the pharmaceutical and medical industries, food quality and safety sectors as well as in environmental monitoring and homeland security.

The speed and efficiency of screening drug molecules for cytotoxic activity in early stage pre-clinical trials and testing the clinical sensitivity of a bacterial sample to antibiotics should be increased by use of the high-throughput system.

Bacterial detection is also possible, as well as the analysis of the total bacterial load, which could be particularly useful for the food industries.

When combined with biological recognition probes, such as phages or antibodies, the biosensor provides unambiguous detection and quantification of living pathogens and biological warfare agents.

The instrument measures extremely small electrical variations induced by cell growth at the bottom of an array plate. Each array plate contains 96 sample wells with a small gold detecting electrode deposited on the bottom of each well and a larger gold counter electrode attached to the side.

As cells attach themselves to the detecting electrode, their plasma membranes induce small variations in the properties of the electrical signal passing through the sample well. These changes are then measured and analysed before being displayed on the screen monitor.

Each measurement takes approximately five seconds and samples can be taken and logged for over 12 hours, allowing the system to easily follow the activity of a substance on a living system over time.

Talking to DrugResearcher.com, Dr Rosemonde Mandeville, Biophage's president and CEO, said: "For toxicity testing, if a company has a large number of molecules to screen, they can simultaneously assess their potential efficacy against cancer cells on one hand, and the safety of the molecule on a panel of normal cells, on the other. Because of the 96 well array plate format, you can very quickly test a large number of compounds on a panel of different cell lines"

The biosensor could also find a use in the environmental detection sector after the US Environmental Protection Agency recently announced it will begin regulating a large class of germ-killing nanoproducts that may pose unanticipated environmental risks.

Commenting on the instrument, Dr Mandeville said: "The increased capacity, functions and lower selling price of the PDS96 Biosensor will result in substantial savings of time, money and human resources for our customers. These features give us an important edge over our competitors and responds to true concerns of consumers in the health care industry."

Related topics Preclinical Research QA/QC

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