Archer Materials achieves ‘major milestone’ in development of integrated biochip platform

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By Imelda Cotton - 
Archer Materials ASX AXE development integrated biochip platform biosensing

Archer will use the new biochip platform to test in-house biosensing chips to generate data for building commercial partnerships.


Archer Materials (ASX: AXE) has developed an early-stage prototype of an integrated biochip platform with automated liquid sample handling robotics and user readout.

This work is considered a major milestone in the commercialisation of the company’s biochip technology.

The platform will be used to quickly test inhouse biosensing chips to obtain the relevant data for establishing commercial partnerships.

The system hardware and software employed paves the way for future designs which embed single-chip multiplexing.

Archer chief executive officer Dr Mohammad Choucair said the company had now developed, built and configured a method, device and prototype operational system platform for lab-on-a-chip sensing of the electronic properties of biologically-relevant fluid samples.

“This is a significant step in the development of our biochip and has the potential for commercial applications,” he said.

“We will focus on building advanced and sophisticated versions of this system which could be used in applied research settings … it will allow us to accurately obtain data related to biochip devices which is required to establish commercial partnerships with companies in the high-growth biosensing and diagnostics market.”

Lab-on-a-chip technology

Archer’s biochip is lab-on-a-chip technology which aims to integrate graphene field effect transistors (gFETs) into advanced fluidic systems to create miniaturised lab-on-a-chip device platforms for medical diagnostics.

Dr Choucair said the company would use it to perform tests and device optimisations which are commercially relevant.

Typically, fluid samples are pipetted onto an active sensing site using an automated programmable robot, to complex multiple fluidic channels and wettable gFETs.

In this way, the electronic properties of the fluid sample can be tested and analysed with the results produced on a computing device connected to the platform using custom-designed hardware modules, and software built using Python.

User interface

The end-to-end platform enables high throughput testing which incorporates gFET chips integrated with multiple fluidic channels, an automated sample handling robot, readout electronics and software and user interface on a laptop, all in a normal operating environment.

The interface was custom-built by Archer and is designed to provide an easy way to run automated tests on the company’s biochips with different designs using a programmable robot, which directly communicates with the biochip control and readout hardware.

Dr Choucair said the system platform setup was a powerful tool in advancing Archer’s biochip development, enabling the improvement of sensing device active sites and automating liquid delivery to the chip using feedback from the sensor to allow hands-off and remotely-controllable testing of prototype devices.