Research & Development

The Research and Development Unit offers complete and innovative solutions in the field of parallel bioanalysis by applying spot based analytical technologies utilizing the company know-how in the fields of microarrays, assays development, pico- and nanoliter handling, surface functionalization, array imaging and data analysis.

SCIENION is committed to R&D with the aim of working with our customers to develop innovative products.

Partnerships play an important role in our activities and we value establishing and maintaining strong relationships with our contacts within the scientific, academic and business communities. We are engaged in several joint research projects at national and international levels, some of them publicly funded.

These cooperative projects aim to develop the next generation of technologies, applications and highly qualified products to enable better prevention, diagnosis and therapies for disease indications.

We provide leadership and opportunities in technologies and innovations as well as in accessing, managing, implementing and monitoring projects.

Below are listed some of the completed projects in which we were involved.

  • micro Aqua

    microAQUA: Universal microarrays for the evaluation of fresh-water quality based on detection of pathogens and their toxins

    Objective:

    Monitoring the quality of drinking water is of paramount importance for public health. “Water is not a commercial product but a heritage that must be protected, defended and treated as such” (Water Framework Directive 2000/60/EC). The threat of waterborne diseases in Europe will predictably increase in the future as the human population increases and as a result of globalization and migration from non-EU countries and of climate change. Development of efficient, sensitive, robust, rapid and inexpensive tests to monitor various aspects of water quality represents an essential milestone within the strategy for control and prevention of diseases caused by waterborne pathogens and by algal toxins. Traditional methods for the detection of waterborne pathogens, based on cultivation, biochemical characterisation and microscopic detection are laborious and time-consuming; molecular biological tools have now greatly enhanced our ability to investigate biodiversity by identifying species and to estimate gene flow and distribution of species in time and space. MicroAQUA aims to design and develop a universal microarray chip for the high-throughput detection in water of known and emerging pathogens (bacteria, viruses, protozoa and cyanobacteria) and to assess the water quality monitoring the presence of select bioindicators (i.e. diatoms). A chip able to detect cyanobacterial toxins will also be developed. These innovative molecular tools should be amenable to automation so that they could be deployed on moorings for routine semi-continuous monitoring of water quality. MicroAQUA also aims to identify cyanophages potentially capable of controlling and mitigating the periodical blooming of toxic cyanobacteria in drinking water reservoirs. Overall, these innovative and cost efficient technologies will reduce energy requirements and improve performance of water treatment, and allow rapid management response to new situations brought about by environmental (including climatic) changes.

    All about the project and partners here.

    Duration: 1/3/2011-30/11/2014

    Program type: Seventh Framework Programme (FP7)

    Involved Partners:

    • Università degli Studi di Camerino
    • University College Dublin
    • Istituto Superiore di Sanità
    • Queen's University Belfast
    • Université Pierre et Marie Curie - Paris 6
    • Veolia Environnement Recherche & Innovation SNC
    • Universidade de Santiago de Compostela
    • National Center of Infectious and Parasitic Diseases
    • SCIENION AG
    • MariLim Gesellschaft für Gewässeruntersuchung mbH
    • Istanbul University
    • University of Portsmouth
  • IMRA: Tumor Analysis using miRNA

    IMRA: Tumorassoziierte µRNA-Analytik
    KMU-innovativ 8: Tumorassoziierte µRNA-Analytik

    Objective:

    Using the example of breast cancer the functionality (prototype) of an integrated system for isothermal, multiparametric RNA analysis for clinicical diagnosis will be demonstrated. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are a class of small non-coding RNA molecules (19-24 nucleotides long), which regulate gene expression by binding at complementary messenger RNAs (mRNAs), thereby inhibiting the translation or initiating the degradation of mRNAs. A third of the genes encoding proteins are regulated by miRNAs, therefore miRNAs are playing a central role in the control of many biological processes such as development, cell proliferation, cell differentiation and apoptosis. In 2002 a correlation of miRNAs with cancer was described in chronic lymphocytic leukemia for the first time. Meanwhile, in many human tumors (CLL, lung, breast, pancreatic, thyroid and liver cancer) tumor-specific miRNA signatures associated with clinical-pathological and diagnostic important parameters were found. Due to the proven and growing clinical relevance the clinical diagnosis and primarily prediction are sustainable supported. Technically, the system combines two innovative on-chip components that enable a platform appropriate for any form of multi-parametric RNA analysis. For manufacturers of bioanalytical and diagnostic systems on a molecular basis, the heart of the project approaches the commercial potential as seen more and more important in the near future. Compared to traditional analytical methods the array-based approach for multi-parameter detection is more efficient with respect to time, sample consumption and costs per data point. The development of a cost-effective method for tumor analysis, based on the novel diagnostic method using miRNA has therefore a big new market potential in clinical diagnostics.

    Duration: 1/7/2012-13/06/2015

    Program type: Seventh Framework Programme (FP7)

    Involved Partners:

  • SurfChem: Quantitative Surface Chemical Analsysis

    SurfChem: Traceable Quantitative Surface Chemical Analsysis for Industrial Applications

    Objective:
    The objectives of the JRP are to provide measurement standards and methods with traceability wherever it is practicable to do so for quantitative surface chemical analysis for industrial applications. This includes:

    The provision of new certified reference materials (CRMs) with known and stable surface chemistries as well as with defined thickness and lateral structure for instrument development and calibration as well as verification of industry-relevant surface chemical measurements.
    The provision of new fast non-destructive methods of quantitative surface chemical analysis for industrial in-line quality control. In particular, this will include the development of advanced techniques for real time, in-situ measurement of catalyst structure and activity on a localised scale to underpin the development of more efficient, selective and cost-effective catalysts.
    The provision of metrological methods including development of new CRMs to improve the capability and traceability of technologies widely used in industry for surface analysis such as electron and fluorescence spectroscopy, X-ray reflectrometry, electron probe microanalysis or ion mass spectrometry.

    The research activities listed under objectives 1.) and 3.) are primarily addressed in Work Package (WP) 1 and 2. These WPs deal with reference material and method development for industrial problems of inorganic and organic surface analysis. Analytical methods addressed are photoelectron and Auger electron spectroscopy, electron probe micro analysis, X-ray reflectrometry and secondary ion mass spectrometery. WP3 is dedicated to the development of traceable fast non-destructive methods of quantitative surface chemical analysis for industrial in-line quality control with a focus on contamination on food and high end products. Methods applied in the related tasks are optical methods as IR and Raman, atmospheric pressure secondary ion mass spectroscopy as DESI and wettability testing methods (WCA) as well. By WP4 new advanced optical and SPM based techniques used for real time, in-situ measurement of catalyst structure and activity on a localised scale are specifically addressed.

    Each work package is planned considering priority that meets documented industrial needs and that supports transfer into industry by cooperation with relevant companies as unfunded JRP-Partners and by standardization under ISO TC 201 ”Surface Chemical Analysis” and 202 “Microprobe Analysis”. Read more

    Duration: October 2011 – September 2014

    Program type: EURAMET

    Involved Partners:

    • BAM Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing
    • EJPD Eidgenössisches Justiz- und Polizeidepartement
    • INRIM Istituto Nazionale di Ricerca Metrologica
    • NPL National Physical Laboratory
    • PTB Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt
    • SP Swedish National Testing and Research Institute
    • Chalmers University of Technology
    • ION-TOF GmbH
    • Kratos Analytical Ltd
    • SCIENION AG
    • SPECS Surface Nano Analysis GmbH
    • Focus GmbH