DROPLITE opens in Barcelona Science Park

10.09.2019

DROPLITE, a spin-off of the Institute of Photonic Sciences (ICFO), has joined the Barcelona Science Park's Community to boost its entrepreneurial project. The company has developed a lab-on-a-chip device that allows a rapid and accurate way to test and monitor key diseases and other health conditions in both humans and animals at the patient Point of Care (POC). 

 

From left to right (foreground-to-background): Rafael Porcar and Dr André Guedes, DROPLITE's co-founders, with João Trabuco, biosensor specialist, and Marc Montagut, development engineer (Photo: Barcelona Science Park).

DROPLITE was founded in December 2018 within the Institute of Photonic Sciences (ICFO), as a result of a collaborative project between the Plasmon Nano-Optics group, directed by the ICREA Professor Romain Quidant, and the optical engineering company COSINGO, founded by Rafael Porcar.

After a 4-year research and development process –led by the entrepreneur Dr André Guedes within the ICFO KTT Launchpad incubator– the spin-off designed a lab-on-a-chip device, which makes it possible to detect and monitor health conditions, both in humans and animals. Detection is performed both very accurately and in real time (under 15 minutes), using a single drop of sample (blood, saliva, urine, etc.), for medical diagnosis and decision making at the patient point of care (POC).

DROPLITE’s smart testing platform is a combination of customised chemistry, nanoengineering, an advanced optical and microfluidic detection system (patented), electronics and signal processing technology. This technology means that all the stages that are usually performed in a clinical analysis laboratory can be integrated together in a single portable, smart and automated device, which is connected to the cloud, thereby guaranteeing traceability and access to the results at any time and place.

“Our innovation makes previously incompatible optical detection methods compatible with the microfluidic environment. Thanks to this, we benefit from the sensitivity and accuracy that would previously only be found in laboratories but that are now found in a mobile and smart device that can be used in situ, alongside the doctor, directly in a clinic or hospital”, explained DROPLITE CTO Rafael Porcar. 

The DROPLITE team has already developed the functional prototype of the POC device and is currently working on the technical and clinical testing of the technology, with the aim of starting the industrial design and manufacturing processes in 2020 for future large-scale production. In its first stage, the company’s business strategy targets both the veterinary medicine market –in particular the rapid detection of infectious diseases in pets– and the human healthcare market, especially in the field of allergies and assisted reproduction (hormone monitoring).

“We believe that the field of rapid and smart diagnosis will be the next big thing! We have developed a robust, connected and versatile device that will allow us to meet the demanding requirements of the health sector and astound the market and the medical community with a high-quality product. To get there, we have found a perfect partner in the Barcelona Science Park, as they provide us with the ideal space and ecosystem for the development of a biotechnology product. It is undoubtedly a linchpin for start-ups and research centres in the sector,” said DROPLITE CEO André Guedes.