Microwave-Mediated Cellular Lysis
Plasmonix’s extensive patent portfolio includes technologies that build upon our fundamental Metal Enhanced Luminescence technology to speed the diagnostic assays. We are working on the development of our muSystem™ diagnostic platform that will consist of three components: a ‘front-end’ muPrep™ cell lysis well; a ‘back-end’ muAssay™ microwave-accelerated QuantaWell; and a muWave™ magnetron device that will deliver low-level microwave energy to the wells of the other two system components.
As part of Plasmonix’s planned muSystem product line, low-power microwave energy is delivered by a muWave device to specially designed muPrep chambers to rapidly lyse cells (Figure 2). Basically, it is believed that microwave energy moves across the device surface and discharges across a gap that generates a high-efficiency focused fracture zone that permeates the bulk solution. These lysing chambers are expected to provide direct access to cellular (bacterial spore, fungal, plant, etc.) nucleic acid and protein in a matter of seconds as opposed to cumbersome chemical or sonication methods now required.
Microwave-Mediated Assay Acceleration
Also part of the muSystem platform, muAssay combines Plasmonix’s QuantaWell technology with microwave acceleration within our muWave device. This generates a high-bias kinetic differential between the QuantaWell surface and the bulk solution which results in a rapid exchange for capture reagent, target and other assay components. This technology can deliver a range of ultra-fast assay products for deployments in life-science research, clinical diagnostics, field deployable biohazard detection systems, and many other applications benefitting from rapid assessment.
Combining the superior sensitivity of Plasmonix’s enhanced luminescence QuantaWell surfaces with microwave acceleration, muSystem is expected to yield the capability to detect very low levels of analyte in a matter of minutes versus the hours (including sample preparation) it now takes for commonly implemented approaches.