Manchester, United Kingdom
Manchester, United Kingdom

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Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: MC-ITN | Phase: FP7-PEOPLE-ITN-2008 | Award Amount: 2.42M | Year: 2009

Parkinsons Disease (PD) is the second most common neurodegenerative disorder. It is characterized pathologically by the accumulation of aggregated conformations of the presynaptic protein alpha-synuclein (ASYN) in cytoplasmic inclusions termed Lewy Bodies (LBs). Furthermore, aberrant aggregated species of ASYN accumulate in various disease states, such as Multiple System Atrophy, Diffuse LB Disease, LB Variant of Alzheimers Disease and others, collectively termed synucleinopathies. Point mutations and multiplications of the ASYN gene have been identified in PD, and there is also genetic evidence linking ASYN to sporadic PD. These data suggest that aberrant conformations of ASYN plays a central role in the pathogenesis of genetic and sporadic PD and likely of other devastating neurodegenerative conditions. The aim of this proposal is to create a network of European partners who will examine, using state of the art in vitro assays, and diverse cellular and animal models, including novel cellular and in vivo imaging modalities, ASYN conformations, regulation, and mechanisms of toxicity. Through this work, biomarkers and experimental therapeutics targeting ASYN will be tested. This network will create the opportunity for training of a number of early stage researchers in the diverse fields of protein chemistry, biochemistry, cell biology, neurobiology, and animal modeling of nervous system diseases, within an interdisciplinary setting, while exposing them to both Academic and Industrial environments.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: ICT-2007.3.5 | Award Amount: 3.36M | Year: 2008

InTopSens is a multidisciplinary project involving the emerging fields of photonics structures, electronics, fluidics and bio-chemistry, to contribute to the development of high value sensor technology. This objective will be addressed through the demonstration of a compact polymer and silicon-based CMOS-compatible photonics sensor system. It integrates two label-free biomolecular recognition photonic sensor technologies with sensitivities as low as 0.1ng per ml, state-of-the-art in label-free integrated optical biosensors, with novel coupling technology that will permit very high integration of hundreds of sensing areas on a 1mm2 photonics chip. This offers the further advantageous possibility of assaying several parameters simultaneously leading to further increases in the reliability and reductions in the measurement uncertainty of a diagnostic over single-parameter assays. The novel diagnostic technology of the InTopSens device has the potential to be fast and easy to use, making routine screening or monitoring of bacteria more cost-effective. The ultimate target of InTopSens is to demonstrate the feasibility of a rapid diagnostic test for sepsis at point of care. From the introduction onto the chip of a large drop of blood (some 5ml) it will have after 5-10 mins a yes/no to the presence of bacteria and after less than 30mins an antibiotic resistance profile of the infecting bacteria. Some 120 sensing areas/datapoints are needed to identify this profile and as such due to the very high integration up to 250 assays can be integrated onto a 1mm2 chip for the same bacteria for higher sensitivity/selectivity or for other bacteria. A final prototype consisting of a packaged biochip will be used on clinical samples in order to detect the sepsis bacteria and determine their resistance to antibiotics.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: NMP-2007-1.1-1 | Award Amount: 5.44M | Year: 2008

More than 50% of all drug targets are membrane proteins; new research tools to screen function of membrane drug targets are therefore expected to open up new avenues for original drug development. The proposed project addresses the need of the pharmaceutical industry for new technologies for reliable and efficient screening of membrane proteins as drug targets. Most critical current aspects of membrane protein assays are (a) the lack of reliable procedures to immobilize membrane proteins on sensor surfaces in a format suitable for label-free high-throughput screening of drug candidates; (b) the need for downscaling assay formats to accelerate functional screening; and (c) the feasibility of reading out the diverse functions of membrane proteins. The partners with highly complementary expertise and experience of working together will develop platforms for functional membrane protein assays by integration of the most recently gained knowledge and techniques. The key concepts of the platforms include (a) exploitation of nanoporous substrates to enhance the stability of supported proteolipid membranes and their integration in a sensor chip format; (b) nanoscale surface modifications for directed self-assembly of proteolipid structures on chip; and (c) self-assembly of proteolipid membranes onto nano-sized sensor structures from proteoliposomes, and demonstration of the functionality in quantitative drug candidate screening assays suitable for commercial applications. The project is expected to make a substantial contribution to (a) improved understanding of lipid membrane and membrane protein interaction with designed nanoenvironments; (b) development of prototype products and intellectual property related to membrane protein sorting and handling; (c) new compounds for functionalization of biosensor applications; (d) cost-effective array-based concepts for nanoplasmonic and electrochemical sensing; and (e) functional assays for membrane protein drug targets.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: ICT-2009.3.9 | Award Amount: 3.74M | Year: 2010

By integrating and interfacing multiple core technologies and related materials from fluidics and photonics technology to porous silicon (porSi) and polymers, Positive will target the implementation of a microsystem tailored to a specific application with a key societal and economic need. The very high surface to volume ratio of porSi permits very high surface densities of bound antibody-antigen complexes in a reduced volume that through a novel optical interaction leads to scores of sensing areas on a 1cm2 chip with detection-limits down to ~0.1 pg/mm2, significantly beyond state of the art for highly integrated label free sensors at point of care. This offers the further advantageous possibility of assaying several parameters simultaneously (multi-assay) leading to further increases in the reliability and reductions in the measurement uncertainty of a diagnostic over single-parameter assays. The novel Lab-on-Chip technology has the potential to be fast and easy to use, making routine screening or monitoring with immunoassays more cost-effective.The ultimate goal of Positive will be to demonstrate a safe and rapid low cost diagnostic test for food allergies at point of care such as in a GPs office or hospital. A quantitative determination of allergy sensitization is expected within ~15 of adding no more than 100l of blood. A final prototype consisting of a packaged biochip and reader will be used on clinical samples in order to determine sensitization to allergens such as that for hens eggs, cows milk, peanuts, wheat, treenuts, fish, sesame, and shrimp ingestion.The two industrial partners with their international market strategies and a clinical specialist for food allergies in children as an end-user will enable us to target the whole value chain from research to validation. It is therefore expected that this novel and beyond state of the art Lab-on -Chip will give impetus to the global competitiveness and profitability of European industry in Microsystems activities.During the course of the project, after several different lengthy and comprehensive exploratory activities, it was realised that the development of a suitable porous silicon membrane for a marketable Positive biosensor platform, if possible could not be done within the lifetime of the project. In parallel, porous alumina was found to have both optimal fluidic and similar optical properties as well as being commericially available at a low cost and with less or no problems for freedom to operate as part of a final commericial Positive platform. For that reason, some porSi related objectives, milestones, deliverables and tasks have been cancelled.


Coan K.E.D.,Novartis | Swann M.J.,Farfield | Ottl J.,Novartis
Analytical Chemistry | Year: 2012

In early drug discovery, knowledge about ligand-induced conformational changes and their influence on protein activity greatly aids the identification of lead candidates for medicinal chemistry efforts. Efficiently acquiring such information remains a challenge in the initial stages of lead finding. Here we investigated the application of dual polarization interferometry (DPI) as a method for the real-time characterization of low molecular weight (LMW) ligands that induce conformational changes. As a model system we chose calmodulin (CaM), which undergoes large and distinct structural rearrangements in response to calcium ion and small molecule inhibitors such as trifluoperazine (TFP). We measured concentration-dependent mass, thickness, and density responses of an immobilized CaM protein layer, which correlated directly with binding and conformational events. Calcium ion binding to CaM induced an increase in thickness (≤0.05 nm) and decrease in density (0.03 g/cm 3) whereas TFP induced an increase in both thickness (0.05 nm) and density (0.01 g/cm 3). The layer measurements reported here show how DPI can be used to assess and differentiate ligands with distinct structural modes of action. © 2011 American Chemical Society.


Patent
Farfield | Date: 2014-03-25

This disclosure is directed to broadband notch antennas. In one aspect, a notch antenna includes a dielectric plate having a first surface and a second surface located opposite the first surface. A conductive layer is disposed on the first surface and has a notch region that exposes the dielectric plate between edges of the conductive layer. The antenna also includes two or more frequency matching circuits that branch from the notch region. Each matching circuit is configured to send and receive electromagnetic radiation in a frequency band of a radio spectrum.


Patent
Farfield | Date: 2014-04-30

This disclosure is directed to broadband polarization diversity antennas. In one aspect, a polarization diversity antenna includes a baseboard with a baseboard-feed line located on a first surface. The baseboard-feed line includes a serpentine meander-line portion. The antenna also includes an antenna-array board with two or more antenna elements arranged in a series. The antenna-array board is attached to the first surface with the serpentine meander-line portion located between an edge of the antenna-array board and the baseboard. Each antenna element is connected to the serpentine meander-line portion via an antenna-feed line located on the antenna-array board. The antenna array provides two dimensional polarization broadcasting and receiving of electromagnetic radiation. In another aspect, a notch antenna is formed on an opposing second surface of the baseboard opposite the antenna-array board in order to provide three-dimensional polarization broadcasting and receiver of electromagnetic radiation.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: MC-IAPP | Phase: PEOPLE-2007-3-1-IAPP | Award Amount: 514.76K | Year: 2008

The elucidation of 3-dimensional structures of proteins and other biological macromolecules and complexes is essential for rational drug design, targeting and delivery, biocatalysis, the design of environmentally friendly agrochemicals, the development of biosensors and other nanobiotechnological applications. The most powerful tool for structural analysis is X-ray crystallography, which crucially depends on growth of high diffraction quality crystals. Crystallisation is the least controllable and usually rate-limiting step of the process that goes from cloning a gene to using the structural information for predicting and designing function. TOPCRYST, an academia-industry project, will use Dual Polarimetric Interferometry, pioneered by Farfield Scientific Ltd., to probe crystallisation at its earliest, most crucial stages. This will allow to predict the outcome of crystallisation trials when they are still at their earliest stages and thus to rationally design such experiments in order to lead them to the desired result, i.e. well-diffracting crystals. Transfer of knowledge between academia and industry will tackle the problem of detecting crystal nucleation phenomena at the very earliest stages of crystallisation and holds a number of promises that will be investigated in its course: (i) to guide the choice of pH and buffer, temperature, precipitating agent, additive(s) etc, starting from a limited number of preliminary experiments, thus obviating the need for extensive screening; (ii) to allow to unequivocally distinguish crystalline from amorphous material, something which is not always easy even for an experienced crystalliser, with obvious possibilities of extension to high-throughput environments; (iii) to allow optimisation of conditions under real-time control; (iv) to provide an experimental underpinning to the theoretical understanding of nucleation phenomena (v) to develop novel instrumentation for crystallisation of macromolecules.


News Article | June 20, 2014
Site: gizmodo.com

This morning, passengers headed to NYC on the Metro-North rail line hit serious delays. The culprit? A suspicious package found near the Farfield, CT station. Or rather, a suspiciously Bender-shaped package. Bite my shiny metal ass, commuters. To be fair, it's always better safe than sorry when it comes to unknown parcels in public places. See something, say something, etc. And it's a good thing that the Metropolitan Transportation Authority takes its job seriously. But an eighth-grade woodshop project that pays shaky-handed tribute to Futurama's alcoholic robot is suspicious only in its awesomeness. We only hope that when the MTA figured out it wasn't a bomb, someone shouted "good news, everyone!" [Stamford Advocate]

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