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Roswell (US) and imec (Flanders) launch biosensor partnership

American molecular electronics company Roswell Biotechnologies has signed a partnership with imec, Flanders’ strategic research center for nanotech and digital innovation. The aim is to develop the first commercially available molecular electronics biosensor chips. Roswell Biotechnologies is known for its sequencing platform, which supports innovative medical and healthcare approaches such as precision medicine, molecular diagnostics, rapid infectious disease testing and DNA data storage.  


Transforming detection

“The COVID-19 pandemic makes it clear how urgent the need is for a new generation of fast, low-cost surveillance and diagnostics tools,” explains Paul Mola, CEO of Roswell Biotechnologies. “Our molecular electronics platform will transform the way infectious diseases are detected, offering powerful new capabilities that enable the rapid and simultaneous screening of numerous infectious diseases such as COVID-19 and viral strains, using only portable devices.”  

Commercialization made possible

The molecular electronics domain is characterized by breakthroughs. But commercial viability requires these technologies to be mounted onto a standard semiconductor chip. That’s where imec’s nanotech expertise comes in.  

Dr. Barry Merriman, Roswell Biotechnologies’ chief science officer: “One of the main hurdles to commercializing molecular electronics is that it required expensive customized solutions for large-scale manufacturing. Imec has overcome this by coupling state-of-the-art semiconductor manufacturing technology with its deep experience in biosensor technology to commercialize molecular electronics using standard tools. We are excited to be partnering with imec on this effort.”  

Pushing the limits of what's possible

Working closely together, imec and Roswell Biotechnologies have now successfully completed a proof of concept and are currently focusing on final process development. The first products are expected to be commercially available in 2021.  

“We have pushed the limits of what is possible,” says Ashesh Ray Chaudhuri, team leader of Life Science Technologies at imec. “This next-generation sensor, which is poised to disrupt the world of biosensing, benefits greatly from imec’s broad expertise to overcome manufacturing hurdles.”  

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Reported by
27 July 2020

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