In developing revolutionary new technology for the diagnosis of cancer, Stokes Bio Ltd called upon the services of rapid injection moulding company Proto Labs to manufacture fully functioning prototypes in record time. From design finalisation through to supply of polycarbonate injection moulded prototypes took just 15 days!
Based in Limerick, Ireland, Stokes Bio Ltd was created as a ‘spin-out’ business from the Stokes Research Institute at the University of Limerick just over a year ago. The company’s technology is based upon the amplification of genes that over-express because of disease.
Part of the solution developed by Stokes Bio is the creation of microfluidic systems based on protected concepts in fluid-to-fluid control. A major component of such a system is the microfluidic card itself – a polycarbonate tray that houses 48 FEP polymer wells (and caps). Small quantities of fluid samples delivered by a pipette are mixed with reagents in each well. The resulting gene expression levels provide the Stokes Bio analysis equipment with the data required to identify specific types and sub-types of cancer, as well as target the required drugs and radiation therapy.
Reduced time to market… thanks to Protomold
“From day one we’ve had tremendous interest in our work,” explains director and co-founder Professor Mark Davies, “but we knew that having fully functioning prototypes as soon as possible would enhance our chances of success by many orders of magnitude. We are not the only company undertaking research in this field and we want our system to be first to market.”
Following a personal recommendation of the services offered by Proto Labs from a fellow delegate at a conference, Prof Davies made initial contact with the Telford-based rapid injection moulding specialist. Stokes Bio Senior Engineer, Dr Kieran Curran, takes up the story.
The prototypes were delivered to Stokes Bio in just 15 days: the agreed lead-time.
To support activities across Europe, Proto Labs has sales and technical support offices in France and Germany.
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