Verigene ID for Nanosphere
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Improved biomolecular-testing device
Molecular testing is an expensive and difficult process, yet is an increasingly important part of disease treatment and prevention. Nanosphere Incorporated wanted to create an instrument that would detect disease-causing viruses and bacteria, as well as genetic mutations, with greater sensitivity than ever before, while being less costly and easier to operate than current systems. The result of their partnership with IDEO is the Verigene (tm) ID, an instrument now being used successfully in research institutions.
The Verigene (tm) ID and its associated reagents and components, chief of which are Nanosphere’s gold nanoparticle biomolecule probes, is designed to detect biomolecules such as DNA with a great degree of accuracy. The high selectivity of the nanoparticle probes enables the system to test a single patient or environmental sample concurrently for several different targets. Once the user places the test results in the instrument, a spring-loaded door automatically closes the mechanical cams and a mechanical gear system does the critical work of aligning the test results with the illumination and imaging components. Because the instrument is able to accomplish this without electrical motors or solenoids, results are more reliable and the entire process is less expensive than with previous systems.
The design of the Verigene (tm) ID uses embedded system technologies, eliminating the need for a tag-along personal computer. This improves the device’s portability and simplifies the users’ experience. Software verification testing is simplified because the development platform is controlled. The instrument also helps the user to accurately match up the patient with the appropriate sample, thereby eliminating documentation errors. The simple and cost-effective design of the Verigene (tm) ID will enable a larger market to do genetic testing once the product is commercialized.
Project date: 2004