Low-cost, innovative photometer for ELISA plates
This project is part of the business plan of the company that is focused on an innovative ELISA processor, nicknamed Modula-Passepartout. The Passepartout is an ELISA processor that exploits the concept of modularity pushed to the extreme: each module is a separate ELISA instrument that is able to process only one sample at a time for eight assays.
This architecture has a major drawback in the cost of subsystems, that need to be replicated in each module. While pipetting system, wash system and positive recognition of samples can be attained through low cost components, so do not really represent an obstacle, the key point is the photometer.
A third-party ELISA photometer is too costly to be part of a modular machine: it would cost far more than the entire module. Moreover, we need the photometer to be able to read no more than one well at a time, so a standard 8-well photometer is an overshoot.
After these considerations, we decided that we should focus first on the photometer and develop a proprietary technology for a low cost, compact reader for 1 well and 6 wavelenghts. Developing a reader can be rather costly (an order of magnitude of some hundred thousand euros). Therefore, back in 2009, we ran for European research funds distributed by regional entities, and applied for an R&D grant from Regione Molise.