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Content archived on 2024-06-16

Development of instantaneous low volume drop measurement device

Final Activity Report Summary - NANODROP (Development of instantaneous low volume drop measurement device)

The intellectual property that the project sought to exploit was related to a device which could measure in a non-contact manner the volume of a droplet dispensed in real time.

There was a significant drive within the high throughput drug discovery, genomic and proteomic areas for this type of device. The need for this product stemmed from the high throughput nature of a large scale life science research laboratory. A good example was the drug discovery process. In this process a drug was identified by scanning a library of drug candidates, consisting of typically over one million compounds, against a known disease target. This screening process required many millions of liquid handling steps prior to the drug target being narrowed down to a small percentage of potential drug candidates. By the time of the project elaboration there was no commercially available product to verify the volume of fluid which was added at any given step during the screening process. As there were millions of liquid handling steps, any error was not noticed upfront and this could cause a significant number of false positives and errors in the screening process, e.g. more than 10 %. The impact of an instant volume delivered measuring device was that these errors could be determined upfront and removed. This step had the potential to significantly decrease the number of erroneous drug candidates and to remove them downstream of the expensive and long post-screening research and development and clinical trial programmes. This should assist in reducing the overall drug development cycle and drug development cost.

Other industries which would greatly benefit included the clinical diagnostics area, in particular in relation to point of devices. The provision of a product which could provide an instant validation of the reliability of the volumes of any assay would be very valuable in this sector.