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Posted: Dec 15, 2010
Akonni Awarded National Science Grant to Investigate Feasibility of Manufacturing Lab-on-a-Film Microarray Device
(Nanowerk News) Akonni Biosystems, a molecular diagnostics company that develops, manufactures, and plans to market sophisticated molecular testing devices for diagnosing infectious diseases and human genetic disorders, announced today the receipt of a $150,000 Phase I Grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF). This initial round of funding from NSF will enable Akonni to assess the feasibility of developing a lab-on-a-film microarray device that can be manufactured in a reel-to-reel format.
According to Washington G-2 Reports Advisory Services' 2008 Molecular Diagnostics Survey, molecular and genetic test volumes have reached 40 million annual tests in the United States and are expected to double by 2012. This indicates that, with tightening budgets and ballooning projections for diagnostic testing, the next technological revolutions in molecular diagnostics must deliver substantial reductions in per test cost.
"Reel-to-reel assembly is a method of high volume manufacturing used predominantly for the assembly of lateral flow strips and flexible film electronics," said Dr. Christopher Cooney, Principal Investigator on the grant and Director of Engineering at Akonni Biosystems. "The benefit of this manufacturing approach is that lab-on-a-film microarray production and assembly can be automated at very high speeds, resulting in ten to one hundred-fold savings in costs."
If successful, lab-on-a-film manufacturing has the potential to produce highly multiplexed microarray devices for just a few dollars. Combining low-cost production with the multiplexing power of Akonni's gel-drop array to simultaneously interrogate hundreds of diseases markers in a single clinical sample offers the potential to change the economics of patient wellness monitoring and diagnosis of disease.
For more information on Akonni devices for ultra-rapid sample extraction, high-throughput screening or point-of-care molecular and immunoassay testing, please visit www.akonni.com.
About Akonni Biosystems
Akonni Biosystems was founded in 2003 and has over 20 patents issued with 13 others pending. The company's core technology is based on work developed at Argonne National Laboratory and the Engelhardt Institute of Molecular Biology and utilizes gel-drop array technologies optimized for medical applications. Supported by a series of government grants and contracts from NIH, CDC, DOE, DOD, NIJ, and NSF, the company has significantly advanced the original technology by improving the system-wide capabilities from sample preparation to final result. Commercial products and products in its near-term pipeline include rapid sample preparation methodologies for nucleic acid extraction (TruTip) and multiplex panel assays for detecting multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB), upper respiratory infections, viral encephalitis, and hospital-acquired infections (MRSA).