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A New Ultrasensitive BioSensor Platform

One Million Solutions in Health’s Technology Evaluation Consortium Evaluated a New Ultrasensitive BioSensor Platform as BLOCKBUSTER in its Signature Square Program

The top designation of Blockbuster was bestowed upon Northeastern University’s new Ultrasensitive BioSensor Platform via the One Million Solutions in Health Signature Square program after an evaluation by members of the Technology Evaluation Consortium.


The One Million Solutions in Health Technology Evaluation Consortium designated an Ultrasensitive BioSensor Platform as Blockbuster technology through its Signature Square program. This novel technology comes from Northeastern University and is a low-cost, highly sensitive fluorescence-based biosensor prototype. The Signature Square program provides feedback to technology or service providers (commercial, academic, government, healthcare institutions, etc.) based on confidential reviews by Subject Matter Experts in the life sciences and health care sectors for new or established solutions.

Dr. Ahmed Busnaina, a Distinguished Professor and holder of the WL Smith Chair at Northeastern University in Boston, was the lead investigator responsible for developing the biosensor technology.

This new Northeastern University biosensor is based on a microchip with high density nanoscale trench geometries, in which spherical nanoparticles (NP) are coated with a specific antibody to capture a targeted antigen. Due to the large surface area of nanoparticles on the localized regions of the microchip (less than 0.05mm2), a stronger fluorescence signal is obtained from the same area, as compared to standard 96-well plate ELISA. As a result, the sensor can detect the presence of antigens at very low concentrations – making this biosensor highly sensitive.

All technologies rated through the Signature Square process are given a designation in one of the four potential technology or service categories: Blockbuster, Novel, Upstart or Innovator. The rating for this patented Ultrasensitive Biosensor Platform as Blockbuster was provided via the evaluation by Subject Matter Experts from around the world.

The Signature Square evaluation occurs on two dimensions: 1) Value Proposition to the Marketplace and 2) Market or Partner Readiness. In addition to being highly sensitive, this biosensor also accommodates more than one type of antibody-coated nanoparticle array on the device surface, enabling simultaneous detection of multiple biomarkers.

The use of high-volume semiconductor manufacturing techniques, and 1% of the reagents and capture antibodies relative to the standard ELISA, makes the biosensor cost-effective. The biosensor uses very low sample volume of whole blood (comparable to volume taken from a finger prick) and has fast assay time (1/3 of competitors), making it attractive for potential lab-on-a-chip point-of-care (POC) applications.

Prototypes of a commercial sensor have been tested in vitro for CEA [an abnormal level of CEA may be a sign of cancer] using 50% murine blood (1:1 dilution with phosphate buffered saline, pH 7.4) as well as in vivo from tumor-bearing mice. Results demonstrated 15.6 pg/mL detection limit (more than two orders of magnitude lower than standard CEA ELISA). The technology also showed great promise for the early detection of colorectal cancer recurrence.

“The Technology Evaluation Consortium uses experts from all over the globe, and across the industry, working together to accelerate the development, evaluation and validation of scientific technology. We aim to solve global health issues by bringing like-minded experts together,” Dawn Van Dam, President and CEO of One Million Solutions in Health stated.

A One Million Solutions in Health Signature Square evaluation uses a combination of quantitative research, numerical scoring and respondents’ comments, or qualitative feedback, as it reflects the offering’s differentiated position in the market. By focusing on end-user feedback, and applying a graphical treatment and a uniform set of evaluation criteria, a Signature Square helps research teams quickly ascertain how well a technology or service is positioned to provide value to the market and how ready it is to provide that value.

The Signature Square is an opportunity for technology or service providers to receive direct evaluations and feedback which can then be used to inform potential investors, end users and/or partners. It can also be utilized as a component towards understanding the technology or service and its potential to contribute to health care.

The Subject Matter Experts are members of the Technology Evaluation Consortium with specific expertise in the relevant area for each technology, including individuals from top biopharmaceutical, diagnostic, device, health data or healthcare organizations in the field, as relevant. One Million Solutions in Health aims to have a broad representation of feedback and advice from relevant Subject Matter Experts in each area. These experts evaluate the technology or service such that the feedback received is valid and valuable.

“We find the Technology Evaluation Consortium to be a perfect opportunity for us as scientists,” said Dr. Ahmed Busnaina. “It is incredible that we can present to such a large number of experts from the industry, who may become our clients once our product is developed.”

This new Ultrasensitive BioSensor Platform technology is available for licensing or investment. The proposed next step for the Northeastern-based research team is raising $1.1M for developing a multiplex sensor with improved sensitivity, developing the reader device, and testing the sensor with human blood. Successful completion of the second phase of work will translate this prototype biosensor into a commercial product to be used for the detection and monitoring of CRC and AFP biomarkers in reference laboratories and hospitals.

For an opportunity to join the Technology Evaluation Consortium, and review the detailed information, video and evaluation for this technology: Ultrasensitive BioSensor Platform as Blockbuster, please contact Dawn Van Dam at One Million Solutions in Health (dawn.vandam(at)onemillionsolutionsinhealth.org).


The goal of One Million Solutions in Health is to shape health care by sharing solutions and, importantly, to accelerate the discovery, development and delivery … of innovative cures, treatments and preventative measures for patients around the world.

In this next year, we will be reviewing 1000’s of new solutions and new scientific discoveries. By engaging scientists, entrepreneurs, investors, innovators, industry experts, health care professionals, and patients across various disciplines, and from around the world, we can utilize the power of the internet to disrupt things in a positive and transformative way to accelerate the movement of new solutions and scientific discoveries from the scientist to the patient.

We are on our way towards accelerating high-potential innovations, catalyzing investment and increasing awareness of, and support for, transformative ideas to improve health and save lives. By facilitating efforts to ensure organizations can Connect, Learn + Share, Innovate and Collaborate, our vision is to improve health care delivery, accelerate life sciences research and share patient and consumer-focused ideas and solutions.

As a not-for-profit, we welcome your participation and are thrilled to have you be a part of this transformative journey!


The Technology Evaluation Consortium from One Million Solutions in Health is dedicated to improving and accelerating life sciences R&D and health care outcomes. The Technology Evaluation Consortium brings together life sciences and/or health care companies and industry vendors or scientists, and other relevant partners (e.g., government and Universities), to evaluate and validate technologies or services in a collaborative environment.

The model empowers technology providers/scientists and industry end-users to collectively assess a number of solutions in a cost-effective manner, producing a depth and breadth of results that no company can achieve alone. Our mission is to triage and streamline new technology consideration for the industry and to be the place for the industry to conduct their evaluations and validations.


The Center for High-rate Nanomanufacturing (CHN) at Northeastern University in Boston is focused on developing tools and processes that will make it possible for businesses to quickly and efficiently manufacture products that have unique characteristics due to their size and shape. The CHN’s work on advancing our capacity to make high-rate, value-added products using nanoparticles and specialized processes is one of many initiatives that are making the university a leader in nanotechnology.

Northeastern’s advances in affective science, drug discovery and delivery, personal health informatics, and sensors are characterized by global collaborations with industry, government, and other academic institutions. Its leadership in nanotechnology and data science provides a growing technological foundation for new discoveries in these and other areas of interdisciplinary research. http://www.nanomanufacturing.us.