By Gabriella McNevin
NexGen Arrays develops light-based virus detection tests that have potential to improve the health care industry. Alumnus David Freedman (ECE ’09, @DScottFreedman) is the company Co-Founder & CEO.
Recently, Freedman connected with representatives from the National Science Foundation (NSF) while attending the 2015 International Consumer Electronic Show® (CES) in Las Vegas, Nevada. NSF filmed their conversation. The video underlines that NexGen Arrays is developing tests to rapidly identify viruses that cause hemorrhagic fevers, including Ebola, Lassa, and Marburg. Nexgen Arrays is also developing additional healthcare tests with clinical collaborators in the area of Oncology and Diabetes.
As highlighted in the NSF video conversation, NexGen Arrays tests are used at the patient’s health care site, resulting in actionable clinical information. This feature is a huge deviation from standard sensitive diagnostic tests. Typically, diagnostic tests are less timely because they require the support of a full lab that is often located at a separate location.
The technology that NexGen Arrays is commercializing sprouted from novel biomedical optics research that was performed in Professor M. Selim Unlu’s (@MSelimUnlu) laboratory. NexGen Arrays is working in collaboration with Becton Dickerson (BD), John Connor from the BU School of Medicine and the BU Photonics Center. The mission has received funding from the NSF Smart Lighting Engineering Research Center, and the National Institute of Health (NIH) and industrial partners.
As a post-doctoral researcher for the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Freedman led the development of prototype development in 2011-2012 as part of an NSF Accelerated Innovative Research (NSF-AIR) grant. The NSF-AIR program led Freedman to participate in the NSF Innovation Corps (I-CORPS) program in 2013 to determine the commercial potential of Nexgen Arrays light-based technology. The future of Nexgen Array looks bright to Freedman, who established the company in 2014, “I’m excited for 2015. We’re growing rapidly, and are positioning ourselves for great commercial success.”
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