Diagnosing and preventing infectious diseases through rapid nanosensor technology

What is needed to transform the detection, diagnosis and surveillance of infectious diseases around the world, and to develop a device that can deliver accurate, reliable results quickly?

What is needed to transform the detection, diagnosis and surveillance of infectious diseases around the world, and to develop a device that can deliver accurate, reliable results quickly?

Facing the global spread of COVID-19, there is an urgent need for better first-line screening methods to curb the spread of microbial pathogens. The method used today to confirm fever by measuring forehead temperature cannot detect asymptomatic infection or pre-symptomatic infection, and cannot distinguish the deadly new coronavirus from the less threatening respiratory disease. Other diagnostic tests are either inaccurate or too slow to return results.

As a pioneering biotechnology company, Pinpoint Science boldly envisions a novel solution based on a ground-breaking concept to pinpoint pathogens in under a minute by using a portable nanosensor technology diagnostic device. But to commercialize its patented technology and bring life-saving technology concepts to market, Pinpoint needs to work with strategic partners with deep domain knowledge and manufacturing expertise. To that end, Pinpoint chose to work with Analog Garage, Analog Devices’ innovation center, and ADI’s Hillview Manufacturing Process Engineering team to realize the vision.



Pinpoint Science, a startup focused on early-stage medical diagnostics, hopes to transform the method of detecting, diagnosing, and monitoring infectious diseases through point-of-care diagnostics with novel nanosensors that rapidly deliver highly accurate medical test results.


Provides pathogen detection results in less than a minute using a low-cost, easy-to-use, portable reader and single-use cartridge, without reliance on laboratories, scale-up techniques, or sample preparation. Develop biochemical techniques for sensor functionalization and test proof-of-concept.


Rapidly bring to market an accurate, life-saving nanosensor technology diagnostic platform and advance a more efficient global screening method for the detection of microbial pathogen arrays.

infectious agent

Microbial pathogens, including viruses and bacteria, kill millions of people every year. The fight to control infectious diseases has had many successes over the last century, including the eradication of smallpox and the near elimination of measles, mumps and tetanus. However, viral infectious diseases and epidemics are still occurring, affecting the people’s livelihood and economy of various countries.


How can we keep people safe in the ongoing fight to control and eliminate deadly infectious diseases? First-line screening is one solution. However, infectious disease testing methods in use today take 15 minutes to 4 hours to produce results, which are too slow to control or contain the rapid spread of epidemics. Also, today’s tests are often inaccurate or expensive, relying on laboratories, trained technicians and complex sample preparation processes.

current diagnosis

• 15 minutes to 4 hours
• Unable to perform general screening

Symptom Screening Today

• Check for fever and cough only
• Unable to detect asymptomatic patients
• Indistinguishable from respiratory disease

A different type of COVID-19 test is needed to screen populations of a certain size. So a test that can detect the antigen is needed, and this requires a major technological breakthrough.

Pinpoint: An agent of breakthrough change

Pinpoint Science, a Northern California-based healthcare technology startup, envisions a more efficient point-of-care testing and diagnostic solution: an easy-to-use, portable reader and drop-in test cartridge equipped with advanced nano sensor. As a change agent, this diagnostic device can rapidly detect biomarkers, such as antibodies and antigens, and rapidly identify specific microbial pathogens that cause disease and death. The reader comes with a single-use targeted pathogen detection cartridge that provides accurate results in the field without relying on a laboratory, medical technician or sample preparation.

Diagnosing and preventing infectious diseases through rapid nanosensor technology

The technical rationale behind Pinpoint’s nanosensor technology diagnostic device was developed by Pinpoint’s chief scientist, Dr. Nader Pourmand, a professor of biomolecular engineering at UC Santa Cruz.

“We started this research many years ago, long before the COVID-19 outbreak,” said Lisa Diamond, CEO of Pinpoint. “We used nanosensor-based assays to target influenza viruses in humans and in animals. of the bluetongue virus, this diagnostic uses antibodies or synthetic molecules to detect and measure specific proteins to determine infection. We believe that the role of our diagnostic platform for humans is not limited to the COVID-19 novel coronavirus pneumonia epidemic, but has longer-term value. “Today, Pinpoint is working on commercializing this technology, which was originally derived from functionalized nanopatches developed by Dr. Nader Pourmand.

Pinpoint and ADI join forces

In early 2019, Pinpoint began looking to partner with Analog Devices and its innovation center, Analog Garage, with the hope of helping turn the vision into reality. Analog Garage, together with ADI’s Hillview Manufacturing Process Engineering team, is helping Pinpoint perfect and bring its point-of-care rapid pathogen detection technology to market.

Pinpoint Science chose ADI because of ADI’s unique MEMS manufacturing capabilities and sensor development capabilities, as well as its willingness to invest in emerging technologies. ADI’s precision data converters are also ideal for Pinpoint’s electrochemical platforms. Pinpoint’s portable reader will also be based on one of these products: the ADuCM355 chemical sensing platform.

early evaluation stage

ADI modified its production process to custom-manufacture sensors based on the startup’s designs. Pinpoint will conduct tests to determine the performance of the sensor and, if the results are satisfactory, turn it into a functionalized nanopore biosensor.

“ADI believes that Pinpoint’s novel nanosensor technology diagnostic device holds great promise, especially in the field of rapid, low-cost pathogen detection, and we look forward to working with Pinpoint to bring this breakthrough technology to life,” said Nimrode Moreshet, director of emerging businesses at ADI. Bring to market.”

A new company moving into uncharted territory

ADI first discovered Pinpoint Science through SkyDeck, an early incubation program at UC Berkeley. Pinpoint Science operates two sessions at SkyDeck, guided and supported by this renowned academic acceleration platform. ADI was an early investor in SkyDeck, a global startup hub recognized for launching new companies to the world.

Lisa Diamond, CEO of Pinpoint Science, said: “Our collaboration means we can begin to realize the potential of this breakthrough technology. We are still in the early stages, but if our technology concept is confirmed in proof-of-concept testing, the world will Our platform will be desperately needed everywhere, especially as the COVID-19 pandemic spreads. Pinpoint’s technology is expected to meet the urgent global need to detect COVID-19.”

Pinpoint’s vision: Simple, flexible, and rapid implementation of pathogen detection

Diagnosing and preventing infectious diseases through rapid nanosensor technology

Pinpoint wants to build a universal platform that inserts single-use cartridges into readers to detect specific pathogens in blood, saliva or nasal secretions samples. The cartridge’s nanosensors can detect specific markers of infectious diseases: viral proteins, bacterial proteins, and host antibodies. Results are available in less than a minute.

Pinpoint’s novel biosensor technology enables label-free electrical detection of specific biomolecules with high accuracy and low cost for use in point-of-care diagnostics, epidemiological screening, animal health, and food safety.

“We are developing a low-cost, high-speed, portable screening detection device that can be rapidly deployed as an important weapon against the threat of a global pandemic.” – Lisa Diamond, CEO, Pinpoint Science

Effects of PINPOINT Nanosensor Technology Diagnostic Device on Humans

Today, as the epidemic spreads around the world, Pinpoint Science is highly concerned about the detection of the COVID-19 novel coronavirus. While significant technical risks and design challenges remain, a solid collaboration between Pinpoint and ADI can help reduce the time and cost of detecting infectious diseases globally, while improving personalized patient care and saving more lives.

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“What is needed to transform the detection, diagnosis and surveillance of infectious diseases around the world, and to develop a device that can deliver accurate, reliable results quickly? “ What is needed to transform the detection, diagnosis and surveillance of infectious diseases around the world, and to develop a device that can deliver accurate, reliable…