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Tracking Recovery

Tracking Recovery Technology Note

September 15th 2020: AWSensors is pleased to invite you to take a look to its new Technology Note entitled “Tracking Recovery Technology Note”.

Summary of the Note

Use of the AWSensors X1 Instrument Tracking Recover feature to monitor overtones frequency and dissipation shifts of air-to-liquid medium exchanges onto 5 MHz QCM sensors.

Tracking Recovery

Introduction

The Tracking Recovery feature included in AWSensors X1 platform allows the user to monitor large and fast frequency shifts in QCM (Quartz Crystal Microbalance) admittance spectrum. These sudden modifications in the sensor response are common is some applications where dramatical changes in the viscoelastic properties of the sensor surrounding medium take place.

This technical note illustrates the utility of tracking recovery feature to characterize an air-to-liquid medium exchange. According to Kanazawa and Gordon theory predictions [1], a complex frequency shift is expected in the sensor electromechanical response when the semi-infinite medium placed over the QCM’s top electrode is replaced by other semi-infinite medium. This shift will depend on the viscosity and density properties of the final medium. Following, Kanazawa-Gordon equation is presented for both the frequency (Eq. 1) and the half-bandwidth (Eq. 2) shifts.

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Biosensor

Biosensor Application Note

July 3rd 2020: AWSensors is pleased to invite you to take a look to the Biosensor Application Note entitled “Acoustic Biosensor“.

Summary of the Note

An immunosensor application for determination of carbaryl pesticide was developed by using AWS A20 research platform and AWS F20 Fluidic System. Carbaryl was chosen as the model analyte. Two kinds of acoustic sensors were employed: AWS HFF-QCM sensors (50 MHz and 100 MHz) and Love-SAW sensors with appropriate cells. The AWS A20 platform allowed monitoring phase-shift changes at constant frequency as a function of the sensor surface mass changes.

Biosensor

Introduction

Sensor functionalization: Carbaryl hapten conjugate was covalently immobilized by means of Self Assembled Monolayer (SAM).

Immunoassay format: The chosen competitive immunoassay was a binding-inhibition test based on conjugate-coated format. Carbaryl analyte competes against the immobilized hapten-conjugate for Monoclonal Antibodies.

Carbaryl detection: Samples were injected onto the sensors’ surfaces. AWS software allowed controlling sample injection and fluidics. Furthermore, the employed platform allowed performing the measurements at a constant temperature of 25°C ± 0.05°C.

Since analyte inhibits antibody binding to its respective immobilized conjugates, increasing concentrations of analyte are detected by a change in the increment of the phase-shift of the sensor. The following figures present a representative assay cycle selected from a continuous monitoring in a carbaryl determination, for 100 MHz HFF QCM and 120MHz Love Wave Sensors.

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QCMD

QCMD New Technology Note

June 3rd 2020: AWSensors is pleased to announce the release of its new Technology Note on Quartz Crystal Microbalance with Dissipation entitled “AWSensors QCMD“.

Summary of the Note

Advanced Wave Sensors is a company that designs, develops, and manufactures ultra-sensitive sensing systems based on the quartz crystal microbalance with dissipation (QCMD) measurement technology. In this Note the technology basics are explained.

QCM-technology

Introduction

At the core of the QCMD technology is a piezoelectric resonator, typically made of quartz, that is excited to oscillate at its resonance frequency in the thickness-shear mode by applying an alternating current through the electrodes deposited on its surface.

With the resonator oscillating in the thickness shear mode, its two surfaces move in the opposite directions, as indicated by the arrows in Figure 2. The wavelength of the shear wave, λ, is therefore twice the thickness of the sensor, ? = 2? . Because ?? = ? , where ? = √(??/??) , is the speed of shear sound in the material and ? is the frequency, the resonance frequency of such a resonator is given by ?? = ??/2? = (?/2?) √(??/??), where ?? is the shear modulus of quartz, ?? is its density, and ? is the (odd) overtone order. The same expression may be derived formally by solving the equations describing the propagation of shear waves in elastic media subject to appropriate boundary conditions, as discussed in ref. 1. Plugging in 29×109 Pa for the shear modulus of AT quartz and 2650 kg/m3 for the density, one obtains a frequency of ~ 5 MHz for a thickness of ~ 330 um at the fundamental, where n = 1.

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Download Full Technology Note

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SLB

Lipid Bilayers New Application Note

May 15h 2020: AWSensors is pleased to announce the release of its new Application Note on Supported Lipid Bilayers (SLB) entitled “Supported Lipid Bilayer formation followed at low- and high-fundamental frequencies“.

Summary of the Note

The process of supported lipid bilayer (SLB) formation from adsorbed liposomes is a robust biophysical system that is used in laboratories all over the world. Here, it is used to test AWSensors Quartz Crystal Microbalance with Dissipation measurement (QCMD) equipment and high fundamental frequency QCMD sensors. It is shown that the AWSensors QCMD system correctly and quantitatiely reports the frequency and dissipation changes associated with the SLB formation on high- and low-fundamental frequency SiO2-coated sensors. Some differences between the two types of sensors are highlighted. SLB

Introduction

Quartz crystal microbalance with dissipation measurement, or QCMD, has become a popular technique for research in such disparate fields as material science, biophysics, electrochemistry, and immunosensing. [1] One of the reasons for the wide range of applicability and popularity of QCMD is its ability to provide information about molecular organization (topology and geometry) at solid/liquid interfaces. Specifically, it was shown how the combination of frequency and dissipation could distinguish between different surface-immobilized lipidic assemblies: adsorbed liposomes and supported lipid bilayers (SLBs; Figure 1).[2] This allowed the process of SLB formation from liposomes on SiO2-coated QCMD sensors to be followed in situ.[2] Subsequent studies further showed how the combination of frequency and dissipation measurements on various overtones could be used to study adsorbed liposome deformation [3,4] and detect mutations through the analysis of DNA conformation and length. [5, 6]

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Liqbiopsens project

AWSENSORS HOSTS THE 24M MEETING OF LIQBIOPSENS EUROPEAN PROJECT

February 1st 2018

AWSensors host the 24-Month Meeting of LIQBIOPSENS EU project

The meeting of all the project partners was held in Valencia, Spain, at the headquarters of AWSensors and Sistemas Genómicos, where significant advances were presented between the project partners and important decisions were taken to successfully continue pursuing the project goals. Another whole year is still required to complete the project.

The consortium for the development of this project is composed of the following institutions: Servicio Andaluz de Salud (Spain), Université Catholique de Louvin (Belgium),  Foundation for Research and Technology Hellas (Greec), DestiNA Genomics (UK, Spain), Sistemas Genómicos (Spain) and AWSensors (Spain). AWSesensor.

If you wish to know more about the LIQBIOPSENS project, visit the project website at http://liqbiopsens.com.

 


Biotechnology business

AWSENSORS RAISED 1M€ INVESTMENT

July 27th 2017

Swedish and Spanish companies invested in AWSensors seeing a growth opportunity.

AWSensors raised 1M€ investment round to strengthen its position in scientific market and enter the healthcare tech market, one of the most competitive markets. The company though has convinced Swedish and Spanish investors that the potential payoff is worth the risk.

Firms entering into the investment round were BAble Capital, a venture capital firm that aims to invest in technology-based companies from Spanish universities and research centers, and Tech Transfer UPV, a venture capital firm created specifically to transfer technology developed at the Spanish university, Polytechnic University of Valencia. But also a consortium of Swedish companies invested in AWSensors seeing a growth opportunity. Other Spanish companies like PolymerChar, Keodes or Citrosol are also among the shareholders.

Prof. Arnau, founder of AWSensors

AWSensors, led by Prof. Antonio Arnau, expects to speed up innovation processes to launch new scientific equipments to meet demand from scientists and industry R&D but also to develop cutting-edge healthcare technology to be applied in personalized medicine.

The aim of these new developments is to get a blood test meant to catch cancer when it’s most treatable, before patients show symptoms, by detecting fragments of DNA shed by tumors.  A new liquid biopsy system will allow for detection of this circulating DNA and its mutations and will be an essential equipment to help doctors diagnose, monitor and treat cancer patients in a personalized way.

To hit that goal, AWSensors got another 1M€ from European Comission through two H2020 European projects:

  • LiqBiopSens project, that is coordinated by AWSensors and developed together with companies and institutions from Spain, Belgium, UK and Greece.
  • Catch-u-DNA project, which is carried out with partners from Germany, France, Israel, Greece and Spain.

These projects as a whole were funded with 5.7M€ by European Comission.


AWSENSORS CONSIGUE UNA INVERSIÓN DE 1 MILLÓN DE EUROS

Nuevos inversores de Suecia y España entran en el accionariado de la compañía

AWSensors ha conseguido despertar el interés de inversores nacionales e internacionales y realizar una ronda de 1 millón de euros. En la operación de inversión han participado BeAble Capital, sociedad gestora que tiene como objetivo invertir en empresas de base tecnológica con origen en universidades y centros de investigación españoles, y Tech Transfer UPV, fondo creado específicamente para trasladar al mercado tecnología desarrollada en la Universidad Politécnica de Valencia. Pero también un consorcio de empresas tecnológicas suecas ha apostado fuerte por entrar como inversor en AWSensors. Además, empresas valencianas como PolymerChar, Keodes o Citrosol están también entre los accionistas.

Esta inversión permitirá a AWSensors consolidarse en el mercado científico internacional donde comercializa una nueva tecnología patentada de sensores para análisis de interacciones moleculares en tiempo real que utilizan investigadores de Europa, Estados Unidos y Asia en los campos de ciencias de la vida y nuevos materiales.

La compañía, liderada por el Prof. Antonio Arnau, espera invertir en nueva infraestructura de fabricación y captar nuevo talento para su plantilla. El objetivo es acelerar el proceso de innovación para sacar al mercado nuevos equipos con mayor productividad y automatización e iniciar nuevos desarrollos para el mercado de salud, ya que la tecnología de AWSensors podrá ser aplicada en medicina personalizada.

Uno de los desarrollos previstos para el mercado sanitario es un equipo para la detección precoz de cáncer colorrectal y su monitorización sin necesidad de entrar al quirófano para realizar una biopsia del tumor. Servirá con un análisis de sangre cuyos resultados se podrían obtener en una hora. La detección en este caso se basa en el ADN que libera el tumor en el organismo. El nuevo sistema permitirá detectar ese ADN circulante y las mutaciones que sufre asociadas al cáncer. Este análisis, denominado biopsia líquida, permitirá un control sencillo del paciente y facilitará por tanto la adaptación del tratamiento de forma personalizada.

Liqbiopsens project

Este nuevo equipo se está desarrollando junto a otras empresas e instituciones de España, Bélgica, Reino Unido y Grecia dentro del proyecto LiqBiopSens financiado por la Comisión Europea dentro del programa H2020. Un proyecto que ha inyectado medio millón de euros a AWSensors.

Paralelamente a este desarrollo, AWSensors participa en otro proyecto europeo, Catch-u-DNA que investiga una nueva técnica para mejorar la sensibilidad de la tecnología en la detección del ADN circulante. Este proyecto, que se realiza con socios de Alemania, Francia, Israel, Grecia y España, ha supuesto el ingreso de medio millón de euros más en la compañía.

En total, la Comisión Europea ha dotado con 5’7 millones de euros a estos dos proyectos de investigación cuyos resultados impulsarán el crecimiento de AWSensor

Catch-u-DNA project towards a new technology for molecular diagnosis

New project to validate an easier and faster technique of molecular diagnosis applied to cancer by using quartz sensors

July 7th 2017

In 2015 AWSensors already got the European project “LiqBiopSens” to develop a liquid biopsy platform for early detection and monitoring of colorectal cancer. Now, the company will work in the European  project “CATCH-U-DNA”, worth 3.4 million euros. CATCH-U-DNA poses a new concept in biophysics and molecular diagnosis based on acoustic sensing of DNA in serum. It aims to provide a novel technology for the ultrasensitive detection of circulating-tumor DNA in serum without PCR amplification.

“CATCH-U-DNA” project was granted under the Horizon 2020 FET-OPEN call, aimed at financing radically new initiatives that can have a long-term economic and social impact. Only the most cutting-edge technology projects are chosen. It is one of the most competitive European programs, where less than 4 per cent of the ideas presented are funded. The project is coordinated by Prof. Electra Gizeli, leader of the Biosensors group in the Institute of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology of the Greek Foundation for Research and Technology-Hellas (FORTH).

Detection of lung and colorectal cancer

The ultimate goal of “CATCH-U-DNA” is to validate a new, simpler and cheaper technology for the detection of genetic markers so that personalized medical diagnosis can be performed in a more precise, easy and affordable way than current technologies.

The project faces the ambitious challenge of testing that radically new technology in the early diagnosis of cancer by detecting the most common genetic mutations that cause colorectal cancer and lung cancer. In fact, it includes not only experimental research but also clinical trials.

In the future, it will be possible to incorporate this new technique into portable equipment and will therefore allow on-site analysis applied to personalized medicine in developed countries or in areas without laboratory infrastructure such as underdeveloped countries.

New technique easier, more affordable and more precise

The amount of mutated DNA in a sample is generally very low, which greatly hampers its detection and characterization. Most of the current methods of detection are based on the technique known as PCR (polymerase chain reaction), which allows amplifying a fragment of DNA by obtaining millions of copies, thus, its detection in the lab is feasible. However, this technique involves a complex and expensive procedure prior to detection. In addition, it may cause a deviation if the amplification is not developed properly.

The “CATCH-U-DNA” technology promises to overcome these limitations and allow for the genetic analysis of human samples in an easier, more affordable and more precise way. The aim is to manufacture an ultra-sensitive device capable of detecting DNA in human samples without any previous amplification procedure even though the amount of that DNA is minimal. Specifically, the goal is the detection of circulating DNA, fragments from the tumor cells found in the blood.

The new technique will use high frequency quartz crystal sensor arrays that allow for a real-time, label-free monitoring, in combination with a revolutionary DNA identification system based on the hydrodynamic molecular properties. This approach will allow to push the detection limit down obviating the amplification.

7 companies and organizations from 5 different countries

The “CATCH-U-DNA” project will be developed over 3 years. Experts in molecular biology, physics, chemistry, nanomaterials, biosensors and microfluidics from Spain, Germany, France, Greece and Israel are involved. They are from the Greek Foundation for Research and Technology Hellas (FORTH), which is the project coordinator, and from AWSensors; the Autonomous University of Madrid, in Spain; the University of Crete in Greece; the Curie Institute in France; the Ben Gurion University of Negev in Israel and the German company Jobst Technologies.

 

honey

AWSensors technology to develop a DNA biosensor for detection of honey adulteration

May 15th 2017

AWSensors technology will be used in a new research project funded by Spanish Government (Retos Investigación 2017-2019) to develop a DNA biosensor for detection of honey adulteration. Honey companies are interested in this biosensor because new and cheaper analytical methods are required to meet the quality controls set by European Comission.

One of the priority challenges of the European Union (EU) is “Quality and Security in Food”. Food adulteration is a topic of interest in several fields: health care, legal (since it is a fraud) and economic (since it generates unfair competition). In this context, honey is one of the most commonly adulterated food, which generates a great deal of economical problems in apiarian production and comercialization sector. This situation affects directly to Spain, since is the most important EU country in honey production and comercialization. Nowadays, honey adulteration is made, mainly, by using vegetal siropes, resulting in an adulterated product similar in taste to natural honey, but fraudulent, and including substances that consumer unknowingly ingests. Therefore, the European Comission is promoting the development of new analytical methods which complement or replace the already existing ones.

 

The main drawbacks of the already existing techniques are:

  1. There is no a unique technique which allows to identify, in a reliable way, an adulteration; therefore, in order to be conclusive, several analytical determinations are needed;
  2. They are only available in central laboratories, which directly affects to the companies quality control process, slowing it down and rising its costs;
  3. They requiere high qualified staff;
  4. They requiere long time analysis periods (hours)
  5. They have not enough resolution to detect the target substances sometimes.

 

 

DNA biosensors are becoming very promising in the field of security and quality food control, since they are easy handling, reliable, fast and low cost. The proposed technology is based on the use of acoustic sensors coated with functionalized nanostructures which allow to greatly increase the Limit of Detection (LOD) of the DNA of the substances used in honey adulteration.

 

In this scenario, techniques based on DNA biosensors are becoming very promising in the field of security and quality food control, since they are easy handling, reliable, fast (analysis periods: minutes) and low cost. In this research project, the use of a novel technology in the field of food control adulteration is proposed. This technology is based on the use of acoustic sensors coated with functionalized nanostructures which allow to greatly increase the Limit of Detection (LOD) of the DNA of the plant substances used in honey adulteration. The use of those mentioned nanostructures generates a mechanic-acoustic amplification effect and, moreover, allow to separate the sensor transduction mechanism from the biochemical recognition process (DNA hybridization). The expected result is an increase of more than one order of magnitude in the sensor response when comparing it with the response of a sensor without the nanostructure coating.

The research proposed in this project deals with new challenges:

  1. The use of a new recognition method based on DNA detection;
  2. The use of nanostructures which provide a mechanic-acoustic amplification and a separation of the transduction mechanism from the biochemical recognition process;
  3. The use of a new technique for sample dispensing based on an in-batch method.

 

To deal with these challenges, a multidisciplinary research team of experts in micro and nano electronics, advanced materials and biotechonology is required to guarantee the succes of the project. AWSensors will collaborate with this team of scientists from the Polytechnic University of Valencia, in Spain, (Bioengineering Research and Innovation Center and University Institute of Food Engineering for Development) and University Pierre et Marie Curie, in France (Laboratoire interfaces et systémes electroquimiques). Other honey companies such as Apisol, Honeygreen, Cooperativa Apícola de España, Granalbe and Primo Mendoza are interested in the results of the project.

Bio-Logic AWS-A20 at Biosensing Conference

AWSensors at the 5th International Conference on Biosensing technology

May 4th 2017

AWSensors technology will be at the  5th International Conference on Bio-sensing technology to be held at Riva del Garda, Italy, from May 7th to 10th. We are pleased to invite you to see our biosensing platforms at the booth of Bio-Logic, our OEM distributor.

AWS A20-F20 platform is the most flexible and sensitive QCM-D system in the market. It is able to work with low and high frequency QCM sensors and SAW sensors. It also ensures high sensitivity because of a novel method of characterization that keeps noise at very low level in spite of working at high frequencies by using AWS-HFF sensors (100-150 MHz). AWSensors also provides QCM and SAW sensors and a wide range of cells and accessories to customize experiments and tests according to specific conditions required by scientists.

Therefore, AWS A20 system provides you with big competitive advantages:

–       High flexibility, capable to work with any acoustic wave sensor; modular system capable to be upgraded with more channels after purchase (up to 4)

–       High sensitivity

–       Customization, with accessories to make measurements in specific conditions

–       Price convenience

Do not miss the opportunity to check the advantages of our technology at the booth of Bio-Logic and meet our Application Scientist, Mrs. María García.

Why using AWSensors technology in Lithium-Ion Battery Research?

February 9th 2017

AWSensors and the second largest university in Israel, Bar-Ilan University, signed an agreement to collaborate on lithium-ion battery and energy storage research. AWSensors will work with the Group of Electrochemistry, the most important of Israel. It is led by Professor Doron Aurbach, awarded in 2005 by the Electrochemical Society (ECS) for his work on batteries. He will also receive the 2017 Alan J. Bard Award in Electrochemical Science.  The Award is considered one of the greatest honors in electrochemistry.

We talked with Prof. Mikhael Levi, who will lead the Collaboration Agreement,  about why he is interested in using AWSensors technology. Here we present a brief summary about what he told us.

– Could you explain briefly your interest in battery and energy storage research?

The interest stems from the attempt to a deeper understand the mechanism of ions intercalation into battery electrodes. A more simple case relates to electrode behaviors in aqueous solutions because of negligible effect of the parasitic reactions, absence of surface-electrolyte interfaces (SEI), higher conductivity of solutions compared to that in aprotic solvents, etc. A more complicated and practical case relates to Li-battery electrodes in non-aqueous (aprotic) solutions when extremely high potentials of cathodes and extremely low potentials of anodes are reached. At these extreme potentials a strong competition between the intercalation reactions and parasitic processes of decomposition of electrolyte solutions occurs. On the one hand, this makes interpretation of QCM data non-trivial requiring a rigorous control over keeping external conditions constant (temperature, pressure, non-slipping interfaces, bubble gas evolution, etc). On the other hand, QCM-based research can provide reliable information on tracking the mechanical properties of surface-electrolyte interfaces (SEI) which major role is to prevent or at least to reduce the effect of the parasitic reactions. By QCM-based research we understand it beyond the gravimetric method of operation and analysis implying easy access to not only resonant frequency but also to the related motional resistance or other similar damping characteristics such as resonance peak width or dissipation factor.

– Why do you feel that the agreement with AWSensors will benefit your research interest?

I have mentioned that the extreme operating potentials of anodes and cathodes cause numerous difficulties in QCM applications.  We are currently trying to overcome may be the most severe difficulty in adjusting QCM technique for battery electrodes characterization by matching QCM measurement conditions to the conditions used in practical Li-ion batteries. In practical batteries the ratio of active electrode mass to mass of solution is large ensuring suppressed contribution of parasitic reactions, diminishing of self-discharge rate, increasing capacity retention and ensuring good Faradaic efficiency.

QCM measurements relate to flooded cell with the reverse ratio of electrode and electrolyte mass: the mass of the electrode coating used in QCM is limited to low-mass-approximation. On the other hand, the amount of electrolyte in contact with the crystal is high. In principle the amount of electrolyte is limited by the penetration depth (much less then micron).However it is difficult to build the electrochemical cell with such a small separation.

Attempts to increase the loading mass are linked to recording precise shape of the resonance curves on different harmonics to check vertical and spatial heterogeneity of thick coatings, pre-requisite for deciding whether harmonic analysis can be applied to intercalation processes in thick electrodes. We are sure viscoelastic effects are present in thick electrodes already in air and the role of viscoelastic effect increases after contact with liquids.

 

Are you investigating on batteries?

Are you interested in learning more about AWSensors technology?

 

 

Please, CONTACT US for information about the coming workshop on lithium-ion battery research with AWSensors instruments.