Mini analysis tools coming to market

Friday, 14 October, 2005

Scientists at the University of York, who have developed miniaturised tools for chemical and biological analysis, have won a major injection of growth capital to produce them commercially.

Paraytec, the university-backed spin-out company established to develop and market the technology, has secured money from Viking Fund and private investors in the Viking Club.

The company will produce instruments that use miniaturised ultraviolet-visible absorbance detectors providing more sensitive and accurate analysis of chemical and biological samples than existing equipment.

Their enhanced sensitivity and a quicker analytical process enable pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies developed new drugs to screen samples more efficiently.

A range of instruments - a miniature capillary UV detector, a capillary spectrophotometer and a multiplexed capillary spectrophotometer with robot handling - should go into production next year.

UV absorbance detection is a laboratory technique widely employed to characterise and determine the levels of substances which dissolve in water and other liquids, with light absorbed at different wavelengths in the ultraviolet region indicating different compounds.

The new instruments use a capillary the width of a human hair as a sample vessel, so they require sample volumes 1000 times less than existing equipment.

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