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BeadCAP-DNA: 30-minute on-site DNA test kit


BeadCAP-DNA aims to create a world-first 30-minute on-site DNA test kit, for food provenance, thereby eliminating the 2 to 5 day wait for DNA results from a central Lab. This is achieved by a novel merging of molecular biology and semiconductor capacitive sensing in a single-use microfluidic disposable DNA test kit. No such solution currently exists. Our prototype has no molecular amplification, i.e. no risk of on-site cross-contamination. It has 3-orders of magnitude response, enabling qualitative and quantitative DNA detection. The first product version is defined with end-user customers as 8-multiplex, aimed at GMO detection & 8-food-species testing to 0.1% limits. 3 patents are pending.

BeadCAP kits will address the huge un-met need for fast on-site DNA food diagnostics. Consumer trust will be significantly increased by on-the-spot DNA-ID-tests of food content and GMO’s. BeadCAP will help food processors and retailers eliminate costly quarantines and food recalls, food wastage, risk of reputational damage and loss of sales (e.g. ‘horse-burger’ crisis 2013). BeadCAP will also accelerate uptake of EURL regulations on DNA-testing of food and shell-fish, thus increasing food safety, and reducing food fraud, mislabelling, and adverse health issues.

The AltraTech trans-disciplinary team has 30 previous patents and >100 years experience in semiconductors, molecular biology, microfluidics, venture-capital fundraising, and commercialization success. Our ambition is to scale up BeadCAP-DNA to €100M revenue in high-growth niches of the €4B food-test market, and become a full product solutions supplier and world leader in portable on-site point-of-use DNA diagnostics.

We've raised €900,000 seed funds to date. In this SME-Inst-Phase-1 we aim to do DNA trials & investigate technical and commercialization risk reduction. We target Phase-1 final report on 30/11/2014, and aim to submit business-plan to 17/12/2014 SME-Inst-Phase-2 call, target up to €2M.

Field of science

  • /natural sciences/biological sciences/molecular biology
  • /natural sciences/physical sciences/electromagnetism and electronics/electrical conductivity/semiconductor
  • /natural sciences/biological sciences/genetics and heredity/dna
  • /engineering and technology/other engineering and technologies/food and beverages/food safety
  • /natural sciences/physical sciences/classical mechanics/fluid mechanics/microfluidics

Call for proposal

See other projects for this call

Funding Scheme

SME-1 - SME instrument phase 1


4Th Floor 103/104 O Connell Street
V94 AT85 Limerick
Activity type
Private for-profit entities (excluding Higher or Secondary Education Establishments)
EU contribution
€ 50 000