Coded microparticles

Trackable microparticles for biochemical assays developed at the University of Hertfordshire.

Trackable encoded micro and nanoparticles have been demonstrated to have significant value in multiplexed high-throughput bio-applications including drug discovery and clinical diagnostics.

In such applications each particle has both a unique identity, coded by physical or other means, in conjunction with surface functionalisation allowing attachment of chemical moieties.

For instance such moieties may be oligonucleotide targets that are deterministically attached to specific defined particles by virtue of their unique codes.

In such an example the reporter fluorophore will be incorporated in a probe-target system to indicate hybridization.

Subsequent to detection of hybridization the particle’s identity may be read and hence the identity of the unknown, hybridized sequence to be determined.

The ability to uniquely encode a large number of assay particles provides the opportunity to vastly increase throughput.

Coded microarrays

At the University of Hertfordshire we have developed coded microparticles with both linear (1D) and array (2D) coding.

These concepts have been protected by a number of broad, core patent filings with priority dating to 1994.

The particles have been realized in both silicon and polymers.

Machine readout

The 2D-3D nature of the particles and the likelihood of irregular location and spacing requires developed handling and imaging schemes in order to successfully read the codes on the microparticles.

We have developed custom machine vision image processing software to enable accurate automatic readout of the coded microparticles.