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Cheaper drugs now closer to realization with new DropArray technology
Date:12/18/2007

A standard laboratory tool for measuring pharmacological activity of biological substances and performing other related tests may soon be replaced by a new miniaturized bioassay that will be faster, cheaper and more efficient for scientists to use, with new technology developed by Singapores Institute of Bioengineering and Nanotechnology (IBN).

The new assay, named DropArray, slashes the time needed to run certain lab tests by over 60 per cent and reduces consumable costs by nearly 90 per cent, while maintaining the same level of flexibility and convenience as conventional platforms.

According to IBN Team Leader Dr Namyong Kim, Our technology has the potential to accelerate life science, drug discovery and clinical research. Using our technology, companies can benefit from huge savings in time and money spent on research and development and this would have a direct impact on the cost of medication and new drugs for the consumer.

IBNs DropArray represents a unique integration of surface chemistry and microfluidics designed to reduce the amount of material and reagent required by up to 1,000 times, while simultaneously cutting the reaction time by up to 10 folds, making it faster and cheaper than standard bioassays.

Each DropArray chip comprises a small (1 inch by 3 inch) flat rectangular patterned glass slide, with hundreds or thousands of hydrophilic glass wells surrounded by a hydrophobic coating. These chips can be used for common laboratory processes such as the heterogeneous bioassay, which is typically used by scientists in diagnostic tests to determine how a blood sample interacts with various other substances. The wells act as small test tubes in which the reagents are added, mixed and incubated, and a bench-top station automatically completes the rinsing process in heterogeneous bioassay.

IBNs DropArray is able to miniaturize bioassays from 50-100 microliters down to 100 nanoliters, making it possible for r
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Contact: Cathy Yarbrough
sciencematter@yahoo.com
858-243-1814
Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR), Singapore
Source:Eurekalert

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