Aston technology wins global innovation award

Biomems technology
SEM image of integrated microplate measuring 100µm X 100µm X 5µm with distributed piezoresistive sensors and PZT actuators.


Technology developed at Aston University has been awarded a TechConnect Innovation Award at the TechConnect World 2014 National Innovation Showcase held in Washington DC on June 16th-18th 2014.

The technology, a next generation point-of-care biosensing system based on biological-micro-electro-mechanical (BioMEMS) microplates developed by Aston’s Dr Xianghong Ma and Prof Helen Griffiths, was chosen as one of the best early-stage innovations from around the world.

Rankings are based on the potential positive impact the submitted technology will have on a specific industry sector. Awardees are selected through an industry-review process of the top 20% of technologies submitted for inclusion in the Showcase.

Aston’s BioMEMS biosensing technology enables the diagnosis of microbial infections and other diseases, in a way that is quicker, more convenient and at a lower cost than alternative emerging technologies. This is important for primary care clinicians who often need to make rapid diagnoses. Due to the length of time need to receive laboratory results, clinicians face pressure from patients to prescribe antibiotics, even when the illness is suspected to be viral, which contributes to growing antibiotic resistance.

BioMEMS technology aims to resolve this issue by providing a rapid, yet low cost screening tool that enables them to offer timely and appropriate treatment to patients.

Darian Brookes, IP Business Development Manager at Aston University, said of the technology: “This technology offers order of magnitude improvements in a number of key aspects: speed, ease of use, convenience and cost. It would be great to one day to see this highly promising technology in wide use.”

The technology also has other potential applications such as cell monitoring, drug discovery and water quality testing. Aston aims to commercialise this technology and seeks partners and investors to aid in bringing the innovation to market.

Notes to editors:

The TechConnect Innovation Awards selects the top early-stage innovations from around the world through an industry-review process of the top 20% of annually submitted technologies into the TechConnect Innovation Summit.  Rankings are based on the potential positive impact the submitted technology will have on a specific industry sector.