BioForce Nano thinks small

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AMES, Iowa—July 27, 2007—BioForce Nanosciences announced it had received the second year of funding under the NIH SBIR grant, bringing the total to $400,000. The monies will go to the further development and evaluation of its nanobiosensor Chip-on-a-Tip technology, designed to identify protein biomarkers from only a handful of cells.
AMES, Iowa—BioForce Nanosciences recently scored $400,000 in funding from the National Human Genome Research Institute of the National Institutes of Health to support the second phase of commercial development for the surface pattern­ing tools (SPT) portion of the company's Nano eNabler benchtop molecular printing system.
The institute has also left open the possibil­ity for another $400,000 in funding after Aug. 31, 2007, depending on how well BioForce progresses on the SPT work with this round of funding. The grant is being used to increase the throughput of the SPT to allow faster and more complex pattern­ing which could impact any number of discovery areas, including live-cell assays, "in which a drug researcher may ask what the effect of specific com­pounds is on cells that are bound to biologically relevant surfaces," notes Dr. Eric Henderson, founder and CEO of BioForce.
"SPT cartridge loading and cleaning-in-place are primary objectives of the ongoing program," adds Dr. Curtis Mosher, BioForce's VP of research and development.
The Nano eNabler System places molecules at defined locations on a surface with nanometer spatial resolution. The system reportedly prints proteins and other biologi­cal and non-biological materials onto silicon chips as well as other surfaces with ultra-micro spot sizes ranging from 20 microns to 1 micron, and in the nanome­ter range to 250 nm. Among the many potential uses are biomarker screening and DNA manipulation.
"Aside from the live cell screen­ing, the integration of biological components with unique sens­ing approaches, some of which are nanoscale, is very exciting with respect to drug discovery," Henderson says. "The proprietary nature of new drug discovery platforms makes it difficult to cite specific examples, but if someone in the industry wishes to place a femtoliter of a compound at a very specific location or locations with a high level of reproducibility, the Nano eNabler printing system is the ticket."
"Our ultraminiaturized SPT cartridges are manufactured using microfabrication techniques that allow us to readily modify the design, materials and process­ing steps to enhance tool printing performance," says Juntao Xu, a BioForce research scientist. "When our SPT portfolio is complete, our customers should be able to print spots, lines and complex paths of one or many different molecules or compounds."

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