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NSF Awards Maine Manufacturing $500K to Further Develop Reaction Membrane

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – The National Science Foundation has awarded Maine Manufacturing a $500,000 Phase 2 Small Business Innovation Research grant, the Sanford, Maine-based company announced today.

The grant will be used to further develop a next-generation reaction membrane with biological research and diagnostic use. A $150,000 Phase 1 SBIR grant awarded in 2010 was used to develop the membrane surface, which is composed of track-etched membrane and nitrocellulose and has demonstrated use in improving sensitivity of microarrays and immunoassays. The membrane also has demonstrated versatility of use in other devices, Maine Manufacturing said.

The work performed with the Phase 1 grant also showed that the new membrane supports "extremely sensitive detection of low abundance proteins in complex biological mixtures such as blood," the company added in a statement.

The new funding will go toward development of an "optimized composite polymer protein binding surface for proteomics applications," according to the grant abstract.

Maine Manufacturing will optimize specific applications in bioscience research, disease diagnosis, and pharmaceutical development, with a focus on creating a new tool for the diagnosis, prognosis, and treatment of cancers on an individual level.

"We are confident that the feasibility of the product demonstrated by our Phase 1 activities will be scalable to commercial production, and that we will be able to introduce innovative new tools into the market in 2014," Michael Harvey, CSO of Maine Manufacturing, said in a statement.

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