Based on its recent analysis of the Lab-on-a-Chip (LOC) nanodevices market, Frost & Sullivan recognizes Ostendum R&D BV (Ostendum) with the 2013 European Frost & Sullivan Award for Technology Innovation Leadership. Ostendum is a group of companies focused on the development and production of fast, highly sensitive, portable, easy-to-use and cost-effective biosensors for the instantaneous detection of micro-organisms and biomolecules, including biomarkers, proteins and nucleic acids. The group has successfully created proprietary LOC nanodevices, based on an integral optical technology platform developed by Aurel Ymeti, who is the co-founder and CTO of Ostendum, during his doctoral research that was previously highlighted in Technical Insights of Frost & Sullivan. Ostendum's LOC nanodevices have detection limits that are at least 100 times deeper than currently available LOC devices.
Ostendum's chip has at least four independent sensing channels, one of which is used as the reference channel, while the other three constitute the measurement channels. As the latter three can be used to perform the simultaneous detection of three different analytes, it confers the device multiplexing capabilities. Using Ostendum's technology, one can analyze most complex samples such as full blood or whole milk.
The company has constructed a novel method of measurement, wherein one analyte or class of analytes is detected selectively. It involves the pre-coating of each measurement channel with a unique receptor layer. The receptor, typically an antibody, can specifically bind to one class of micro-organisms or biomolecules, whereas the antigen is specifically bound at the measurement channel. This feature distinguishes the product, enabling the user to pre-coat the LOC system with the desired receptors or use pre-coated disposable LOC systems provided by Ostendum.
"By confining the samples containing the test fluid to the microfluidic inlet of the LOC system, the device offers continuous flow, enabling the monitoring of samples in-line and in real time," said Frost & Sullivan Senior Research Analyst Cecilia Van Cauwenberghe. "It guarantees continuous flow and homogeneity by means of a micro-pump located in such a way that the channels are specifically addressed on the chip."
In addition to multiple applications in human healthcare, Ostendum's technology platform is applied in veterinary and plant health, food and beverage, environment and security monitoring. Similarly, LOC devices can be utilized for onsite drinking and waste water analysis, untreated (raw) milk, beverages and food sampling, among many others.
Ostendum's LOC nanodevice will find wide application in early disease diagnostics, especially for cancer and heart diseases. Some of its future applications could include food analysis, e.g. species-specific (Halal) tests, safety, environmental monitoring and R&D pharma.
Ostendum is currently speeding up the development of its LOC system to be pre-packed and pre-coated as a low-cost disposable. In the context of this development, Ostendum is preparing to increase its device multiplexing capabilities to aid the simultaneous detection of up to ten different analytes in a single sample.
Frost & Sullivan finds that being an industrial partner with the University Twente, the Research Institute for Nanotechnology, MESA+, and the High Tech Factory initiative, Ostendum is positioned as an innovator leader in Europe. As evidence of its commitment to extend its technology's application to diverse markets, Ostendum has applied for a portfolio of selected patents.
"However, beyond all its superior features, it is the technology's portability, easy-handling, light weighting and minimal power requirement that make it suitable for a broad spectrum of applications and industries," noted Van Cauwenberghe.