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TTP unveils new instrument development service
September 2016
by Rachel Flehinger  |  Email the author
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CAMBRIDGE, U.K.—The Technology Partnership plc (TTP), a leading technology and development organization, has launched Desktop Biology, a new point-of-care diagnostic instrument development service. Designed to provide an accessible and rapid route to market, it reportedly will enable diagnostic providers to rapidly convert a biological assay into a market-ready product for use in diagnostics or research. Utilizing two enabling platforms possessing the reagents required for wet or dry sampling and a complementary IP, the system is capable of producing a result in as little as 15 minutes.
 
The new service was launched just prior to the annual meeting of the American Association for Clinical Chemistry in Philadelphia this summer and was on display during the show.
 
The Desktop Biology platform harnesses TTP’s existing platforms and technologies to address key challenges faced by their clients. Desktop Biology customers will have access to TTP’s novel IP that has been specifically developed to address some of the key challenges in the biological arena.
 
“We have extended our key areas of expertise from physics, engineering and establishing manufacture to molecular biology, protein chemistry and cell handling,” says Dr. Giles Sanders, a scientist and business development consultant at TTP.
 
This includes technologies that provide benefits for a number of assay steps, including biological and cellular deposition, methods for the rapid lysing of high sample volumes, high-speed thermocycling, optical and electronic detection systems and unique low-profile and non- pulsatile pumps for highly controlled liquid movement.
 
Users of the Desktop Biology service will have the opportunity to benefit from TTP’s in-house platforms and technologies that have been designed to translate complex biological assays into low-cost, disposable consumables.
 
For example, the Puckdx platform integrates the functionality of a standard liquid handling robot in a low-cost disposable. Designed for any assay that works with a pipette or a standard robot, Puckdx enables open-access biology and liquid handling for 30 µL to 2 mL volumes, and will enable clients to turn assays into a disposable and desktop instrument very quickly.
 
The Periscope platform is purpose-built for dealing with complex processes such as small liquid volumes in the range of 10 µL to 200 µL while maintaining a low disposable cost. Designed as more of a traditional microfluidic system, Periscope can be customized for complex multistep biochemical processes with microliter to hundreds of microliter reagent volumes.
 
Made possible with TTP’s expertise in regulated environments and fast-track system development, these advances are expected to enable rapid translation of a customer’s biology to a product on the market. Key to this service is the ability for TTP’s team to understand the fundamental steps required to convert lab-based biological processes (for example, sample preparation, labeling and assay measurement) to a functional low-cost disposable and small instrument, the company notes.
 
“In recent years, we’ve seen an increased interest in translating processes and instrumentation from the central lab to the researcher’s or clinic’s desktop,” said Sanders. “We’re confident that this service and related TTP platforms will prove attractive to assay and instrument providers in this emerging market, by providing an accelerated route to manufacture that is augmented by our expertise in product development, engineering and the underlying biology of assay design and development.”
 
Throughout TTP’s history in the life-sciences and diagnostics realm, their clients reported particular challenges with liquid dispensing, lysis, fluidic pumping, thermal control and detection. Having understood the challenges facing their clients, TTP invested internally in technologies, platforms, and people needed to improve liquid handling, storage, thermal cycling and control.
 
“Our clients have shared their vision of democratization of instrumentation—a transfer of systems from the central lab to the desktop of researchers, and from the clinic to the smaller facilities and point of care—across a broad range of products in the biology space, ranging from flow cell design for sequencing, methods and systems for rapid quantitative molecular assays and the integration of complex chemistries in low cost disposables,” Sanders tells DDNews.
 
TTP’s technology lies behind many products and processes in areas as diverse as biotechnology, medical devices, instrumentation, communications, digital printing, consumer and industrial products, cleantech and security systems.
 
The company anticipates Desktop Biology will appeal to a broad range of clients, from start-ups with new detection systems to multinationals with established chemistries. Their initial proof-of-principle work was focused on molecular applications and qPCR but is now expanding to clinical applications in immunoassay, handling, drug discovery and beyond.
 
Code: E091620

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