Year/Course: 2005-2006, Easter 2006
Mentor: Andy Allars

Contacts: Dr Adrian Stevenson & Professor Chris Lowe, Institute of Biotechnology

The platform technology, developed at the Institute of Biotechnology, is based on a wireless acoustic sensor for use in biomedicine as a diagnostic monitoring system, or as a real-time sensor in the food, beverage, fermentation, life sciences, environmental, water, military or security industries. It may also provide diabetics with portable access to biometric information such as blood glucose, lactate or temperature. Alternatively, it may be used as an accessible tool for scientists to study protein interactions.

The operating principle is based on radio wave excitation of the acoustic sensor, such that ‘smart’ containers, pills and patches incorporating the element can function as self-contained sensors. Low cost and simplicity are conditions that were applied to the scientific method from the start. So far, three patents have been filed and discussions are ongoing with Samsung, Canon and Kodak. Recently, EPSRC follow-on-funding has been used to design an inexpensive detection circuit for the element, to replace wieldy bench top instruments costing in excess of £30000.

The role of the i-Team would be to work with the technical research team to fit the technology to the market. Currently, there is a plethora of potential applications that can be presented to the i-Team as a starting point. These ideas build on scientific lines of thought and need to be translated, if possible, into standalone business ideas. This analysis will determine the most valuable market segments for the platform technology, and investigate appropriate routes to market for the technology in those segments, including licensing and product manufacture.