IonField Systems Awarded Phase II SBIR Grant to Develop Cold-Plasma Cleaning Module for Microtiter Plates

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IonField Systems is awarded a Phase II Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant totaling $1,000,000 for the development of an automated system to clean microplates with cold plasma technology.

IonField Systems, the pioneer in plasma cleaning technology for life science applications, is pleased to announce the award of a Phase II Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant totaling $1,000,000 for the development of an automated system to clean microplates with cold plasma technology. This project has been funded in whole or in part with Federal funds from the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences, National Institutes of Health, Department of Health and Human Services, under Contract No. HHSN271201400051C.

A Phase I SIBR grant was awarded in September 2013, with IonField Systems successfully completing the Phase I objectives of designing and demonstrating the functionality of hardware and software components for washing microplates using solvent and the Plasma Knife®. The Phase II goals are to enhance performance and develop a market ready system, including testing and validation across a full spectrum of assay and microplate types commonly used in high-throughput screening (HTS).

Single-use microtiter plates are a significant cost factor in HTS campaigns for new drugs, and for many in vitro diagnostics applications. The automated cold plasma cleaning instrument will restore plastic microtiter plates so that they can be reused multiple times, targeting a purchase cost reduction of up to 98% (50 reuses), as well as cost reductions in total plastic hazardous waste produced, reduced staff exposure to this waste and significant time savings in system setup and shut down.

Cold-plasma cleaning, achieved through exposure to room temperature plasma created by a high-voltage dielectric discharge, has already been proven effective in cleaning plastic and metal pipette tips with the TipCharger system, also developed by IonField Systems. The TipCharger plasma treatment system is currently widely used for cleaning 8-, 96- and 384-channel pipetting tips on robotic liquid handling systems used in HTS and drug discovery.

“IonField is excited to receive continued support from a preeminent research organization,” said Paul Hensley, CEO of IonField Systems. “Our goal as a company is to dramatically reduce Life Sciences hazardous waste and the massive consumption of plasticware. We are excited to be working with NCATS and grateful this project was recognized as an important technology for translational researchers.”

About IonField Systems

IonField Systems, a life science instrumentation company, is the pioneer of applying plasma technology to reduce plastic waste in the research community. Its TipChargerTM system employs plasma technology to clean plastic and metal pipette tips and pin tools in seconds by rapidly ionizing organic molecules and completely decontaminating the tips and pin tools. IonField Systems has 8 patents issued and 1 patent pending. For more information, visit:

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Paul Hensley
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