Technology Overview

System Overview:

The Maverick Detection System is designed around a proprietary consumable containing an array of Photonic Ring Sensors constructed from silicon photonics technology.  Each sensor is functionalized with a probe molecule (such as monoclonal antibodies or ssDNA probes).   A sample is drawn from a 96-well plate into a plastic consumable containing the Photonic Ring Sensors.  The Maverick instrumentation reads proteins binding to the sensor in real-time. Reduced or no sample preparation and no labels or incubations are required. Maverick results are available in 10-30 minutes depending on concentration and the type of assay performed.  Accompanying Genalyte software uses real-time binding measurements to accurately quantify concentration. All targets in the multiplexed assay are analyzed simultaneously and in real-time.

Silicon Photonics Technology:

Silicon photonics is a rapidly emerging field that has allowed optical devices to leverage the massive investment by the semiconductor industry in the microprocessor and memory markets.  By utilizing the same foundries and processes involved in manufacturing digital electronics, silicon photonics sensors are able to apply the economies-of-scale involved in high volume production of microprocessors to the biosensing market.  The ability to produce devices of extremely high-quality while ramping to high volume production is one of the hallmarks of silicon manufacturing.  Furthermore, silicon photonics will continue to benefit as Moore’s Law continues to improve the device quality while driving manufacturing costs down.

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Photonic Ring Sensors:

Each consumable contains 1-128 individually addressable Photonic Ring Sensors.  Each sensor is designed to trap and circulate light around the perimeter of a device called a ring-resonator.  Each sensor is placed adjacent to a linear waveguide that directs light from a laser, past the ring-resonator and on to a photodetector.  When the laser is tuned to the correct wavelength, the ring sensor removes all of the light from the waveguide, producing a “notch” in the wavelength spectrum received at the photodetector.  As organic molecules such as protein or nucleic acid bind down to the probe molecules on the ring, the wavelength of this notch shifts; this shift is monitored continuously by the scanning instrumentation.  Since the magnitude of this wavelength shift is directly proportional to the amount of material captured, accurate quantification of target species can be performed. For more details on the technology, please check our rapidly growing list of publications.


The Results:

The Genalyte technology allows the user or assay developer the following unique combination of features:

  • Scalable Multiplexing: Each consumable contains 1-128 sensors, including 8 internal controls.
  • Label Free: Requires no labeling technique (therefore no tagging or washing steps), eliminating the need for expensive reagents and sample preparation.  Additionally, this eliminates the major source of cross-talk in existing multiplexed protein detection systems.
  • Dynamic Range: In a representative assay system, direct detection demonstrated 8 logs of dynamic range.
  • Rapid Time to Result: Require ~10min for a concentration read-out for either immunoassays or hybridization type assays.
  • Complex Media: Readings for specific analyte in complex matrix (serum, nasal swab, etc.) are reliably obtained by employing a proprietary system to control for non-specific binding activity.
  • Sensitive: Demonstrated 10x better sensitivity than a standard ELISA kit and can directly detect hybridizing DNA in the 10’s of picomolar range.
  • Flexibility: Cartridge design options combined with modular instrument build allows the system to address a range of throughput and work-flow requirements.