Rapid point-of-care diagnostic reader for Surface enhanced Raman nanotags in a la

Period of Performance: 08/01/2008 - 07/31/2010


Phase 2 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Centice Corporation
Morrisville, NC 27560
Principal Investigator


DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): Centice Corporation has developed a powerful, integrated approach to portable, yet sensitive, spectroscopic detection. Combined with novel optical detection tags based on surface enhanced Raman scattering (SERS), these two components can be synergized to create a highly multiplexed, handheld, diagnostic immunoassay system. In this grant proposal, as just one illustration of a multiplexed and quantitative rapid test platform, we focus on development of a novel lateral-flow based cardiac immunoassay system. Centice Corporation's multimodal multiplex Raman spectroscopy engine has successfully been applied to benchtop pharmaceutical QA solutions, offering enhanced spectral resolution with unrivaled sensitivity. Traditional spectrometers sacrifice sensitivity for spectral resolution and are not amenable to miniaturization. However, Centice's unique spectroscopic engine, which decouples spectral resolution from optical throughput, offers a technology that can be readily reduced to a handheld form factor and is thus adaptable to portable, point-of-care diagnostic applications. This unique Raman spectroscopy engine is ideally suited to exploit the many features of SERS nanoparticles from Oxonica, Inc. These glass-coated metal nanoparticles loaded with Raman reporter molecules have extraordinary attributes that make them ideal as biological detection tags. For instance, SERS nanotags are highly multiplexable based on excitation from a single laser wavelength, an important consideration for portable diagnostic instrumentation. Indeed, spectral multiplexing avoids the large footprint associated with spatial multiplexing. In general, SERS nanotags are of great benefit to the point-of-care market, since they can be leveraged in a variety of assay systems to create highly sensitive, multiplexed detection of a variety of biological targets. In this grant, a complete handheld, multiplexed, lateral flow immunoassay system for cardiac biomarkers will be developed. Oxonica Inc will leverage its experience in SERS nanotag manufacture and assay development with Centice's expertise in novel Raman spectrometer design and manufacturing, to create a unique diagnostic point-of-care system. There is an urgent need for easy-to-use, rapid, and cost-effective medical diagnostics for public health clinics, field and point-of-care sites. Centice, Inc. and Oxonica, Inc. plan to jointly develop a novel immunoassay technology platform that can meet the needs of the point-of-care diagnostic market. The development of a handheld reader and associated SERS nanotags open up the capability of significant multiplexing of diagnostic tests in the doctor's office, thus saving costs, speeding diagnosis, and leading to prompt treatment without the long wait for broad spectrum, expensive testing in large clinical laboratories.