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Novel chemical surface coating for healthcare and life sciences

DTI Globalwatch : 13 December, 2004  (Application Story)
Plasso Technology has developed and refined a novel chemical surface coating technique with huge potential in the healthcare and life sciences sectors.
Plasso Technology has developed and refined a novel chemical surface coating technique with huge potential in the healthcare and life sciences sectors. With consistent and well-connected support from DTI Global Watch Technology Partnering, it has taken just a few months for this ambitious company to find partners to help take its innovation closer to market.

Described as one of Sheffield University’s most exciting spin-outs, Plasso Technology’s invention enables tailored chemical films to be applied to disposable laboratory items such as glass slides, micro plates, bio-chips and microfluidic applications. By immobilising the thousands of biomolecules on a slide, preventing cross contamination and improving the quality of the interface between biological sample and device, Plasso’s surface coating can improve the sensitivity and reliability of many scientific processes and diagnostic tests. Seeking partners Keen to explore opportunities for its breakthrough film in fields from medical to veterinary diagnostics and environmental biosensors to genomic microarrays, Plasso began actively pursuing partnerships which would enable the development of a range of optimal coatings for different surfaces and molecules. The DTI International Technology Promoter Pete Kitchin, meanwhile, began actively supporting Plasso’s strategy through partner sourcing, lead referrals, overseas promotion and invitations to international events.

Pete Kitchin had first come across Plasso at a DTI Global Watch Service mentoring event held in Runcorn to assist UK companies prepare for InvestFest, a biotech investment conference in London to be held in February 2005. He then visited the company’s Sheffield offices to learn more about their plans for the technology and to devise his own plan to help their progress. As part of this, he invited Plasso to join a UK delegation to the Canadian BioFinance Conference put together by the Trade Officer at the British Consulate in Toronto, Carla Tsambourlianos, and co-funded by UK Trade & Investment as well as the Foreign and Commonwealth Office Science and Technology network.

“North America is Plasso’s largest single potential market,” says Peter Highfield, Head of Life Sciences at the company. ‘Sponsored participation in the Canadian conference allowed this small UK firm to get access to a wide group of potential customers that they would not otherwise have met at this time.’ Two of these companies have now become actual customers, with Plasso announcing a product development project with NoAb BioDiscoveries and a fee-for-service contract with Axela Biosensors. While NoAb had been highlighted to Plasso by Pete Kitchin, it wasn’t until the two met face to face that the synergy really hit home. Plasso’s unique plasma coating technology gives NoAb the opportunity to expand its product line of coated microtitre plates for drug discovery. It is also undertaking a feasibility study of its coating technology for Axela Biosensors. This Toronto-based company is commercialising innovative optical biosensors for real-time point of science applications focused on molecule interaction and detection for the drug discovery and diagnostics industries.

Sameer Kothari
Chief Executive Officer
Plasso Technology
+44 114 222 4435

Technology opportunities in genomics and medical diagnostics in North America: Pete Kitchin
+44 1664 501551
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