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Akonni Gets $500K SBIR Grant for Array Consumables

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Akonni Biosystems today said that it has received a $498,780 Phase 2 SBIR award from the National Science Foundation to further develop its Lab-on-a-Film microarray consumable technology.

The award is the second round of funding from NSF and specifically will support development of a consumable that can run on ultra-low-cost film using a highly automated, reel-to-reel production process, the Frederick, Md.-based firm said. It received a $150,000 award from NSF in December 2010 for the Lab-on-a-Film technology.

Akonni plans to integrate the Lab-on-a-Film consumable into its "hands-free, end-to-end" genetic testing system, which is being developed for use in moderate-complexity lab settings.

"Reel-to-reel assembly is a method of high volume manufacturing used predominantly for the assembly of lateral flow strips and flexible film electronics," Christopher Cooney, director of engineering at Akonni, said in a statement. "The benefit of this manufacturing approach is that Lab-on-a-Film microarray production and assembly can be automated at very high speeds, resulting in ten- to one hundred-fold savings in consumable costs."