One platform. Precision measurements. Unlimited applications.

The Figura logo

We have developed a low cost, easy to assemble and multi-use technology for the characterisation of nanomaterials, proteins, heavy metal ions, colloids, bacteria, and algae in a range solutions spanning sea water, blood and beverages.

To date, we have developed assays for microorganisms within food and drink, Sars-Cov-2 and a range of health and environmental analytes.

Exploiting cutting-edge microfluidics and new manufacturing methods, we have launched a company - Figura Analytics - to deliver precision measurements for a variety of users.

Figura was spun out of cross-disciplinary Chemistry research in January 2021, backed by an Innovate UK grant, to develop its rapid testing technology platform aimed at helping the drinks industry to improve quality and consistency of ingredients and finished products.

Technology features

  • Small footprint - easily integrated into current manufacturing workflows
  • Real-time data outputs - enabling real-time actions and decisions
  • Unique data analysis algorithm - offering the first example of shape classification in the field and proven to work on microbes of different shapes
  • Non-destructive analysis platform that can deal with complex samples

Unique benefits

  • Does not require sample filtration or purification
  • Measures the entire sample instantly with no preparation, regardless of viscosity and colour
  • Operates with demanding matrices such as milk, tea, toothpaste and juice - rapidly identifying microorganisms

How it works

The technology operates in two stages, using a single instrument:

Particle characterisation
Characterisation of particles from 100nm up to 100 microns

A sample - no preparation required - is passed through a sensor. Our technology measures the number, size and shape of each additive / particulate and rapidly analyses the data.

The technology is based on the resistive pulse sensing technique. However, unlike other technologies on the market, ours can characterise nanomaterials and micro materials simultaneously - and the presence of larger particles does not interfere with or block the analysis of the nanomaterials.

Assay kits
Analyte specific detection can be carried out, using assay kits in just 20 minutes

The analysis of the solution - Stage 1 - is non destructive and, if the user is alerted to the presence of contamination or microorganisms, a simple assay can be performed using the same technology.

Our approach uses DNA biorecognition as opposed to costly antibodies or PCR, reducing the number of reagents, costs and time.

The kits are designed to be used by unskilled users: simply mix the reagents with the sample, before returning them to the technology platform.

In this way, we merge the specificity of microbiology with rapid diagnostics.

The core technology allows us to easily adapt kits to the microorganism of interest, tailored to each manufacturer or application.

Meet the team

Photograph of Mark Platt

Dr Mark Platt

Research Lead

Department of Chemistry