The very first start-up launched at the Adolphe Merkle Institute, Nanolockin, has received support from two important sources. Fri Up will provide business coaching during the crucial launch phase, while Fribourg’s Seed Capital Foundation has granted the company an interest-free loan of CHF 150,000.
Smaller than living cells, nanoparticles are found in many products such as cosmetics, food, or clothing. An apparel company can for example integrate silver nanoparticles in sports clothing to ward off bacteria. This means though that issues such as nanoparticle concentration in fibers, and whether these particles can leach off fibers and affect the wearer’s skin, need to be resolved before heading to market.
NanoLockin’s measurement system can respond to this type of query. The nanoparticles are stimulated to produce heat, allowing them to be detected, counted, and observed, by the system’s built-in infrared camera. This technology has a number of advantages, including no damage to the sample, ease of use, and costing up to five times less than the market competition.
NanoLockin was officially founded in the past month. Fri Up will coach the management team, notably to develop their commercial strategy. The CHF 150,000 interest-free loan granted by Seed Capital to NanoLockin will serve to a large extent to finalize a series of prototypes.
The NanoLockin project was developed by the Adolphe Merkle Institute’s BioNanomaterials group under the guidance of Prof. Alke Fink, with the support of the former head of the institute’s Technology Transfer, Dr. Marc Pauchard. Initial research was carried out by Dr. Christophe Monnier and Federica Crippa, in collaboration with Dr. Mathias Bonmarin of the Zurich University of Applied Sciences. This research was financed by the National Centre of Competence in Research Bio-Inspired Materials, the Department of Chemistry at the University of Fribourg, the National Research Program 62, Innosuisse (formerly the Commission for Technology and Innovation), as well as the Adolphe Merkle Foundation. The new company’s managing director is Dr. Christoph Geers.