02 Jul GWC lands $100,000 federal grant
The National Science Foundation has awarded a Phase I Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant to life science tools company GWC Technologies. The grant will accelerate development of the company’s “Carbon-on-Metal” (CoM) technology for protein array analysis. Dr Voula Kodoyianni, the company’s chief scientific officer, will lead the project.
GWC’s “SPR imaging” systems analyze protein arrays made on gold biochips. Gold enables “label-free” array analysis, which bypasses the problematic fluorescent labels alternative technologies require for analysis of proteins. Label-free data are prized by researchers in the pharmaceutical industry because they more accurately reflect how proteins function in real life.
While gold certainly glitters, it is too fragile for key tests in drug discovery research, in medical point-of-care diagnostics, and in field-based agricultural and environmental testing. CoM technology coats the gold array substrates with an exquisitely thin protective layer of carbon, dramatically increasing robustness. “CoM chips open up entirely new fields of applications for our label-free array products” explained Dr Kodoyianni. “Our first goal is to demonstrate the superior performance of CoM technology in proteomics analysis”, she added, “then we will focus on new products for the pharmaceutical industry.”
According to GWC’s president and CEO, Tim Burland, CoM array technology will be useful for products manufactured by other companies as well as those made by GWC. In order to bring the technology to the broadest possible market as quickly as possible, the company is seeking corporate partners.