Laying the Foundation for a Breakthrough Technology
OptiEnz Sensors, LLC, is a biotech company that produces innovative biosensors for continuously measuring organic chemical concentrations in water and aqueous solutions. The technology is based on fundamental research on enzymatic sensor tips by the company’s founder and CTO, Dr. Ken Reardon. Reardon, a professor and researcher at Colorado State University (CSU), recognized a significant need for a device that could measure the concentration of chemical contaminants in food and water—a device that could take these measurements rapidly, accurately, and inexpensively. Although traditional laboratory sampling methods can yield very accurate measurements, they are also complex, time-intensive, expensive, and—most importantly—they do not provide continuous in-place measurements. Building on his years of research experience in biosensor technology and bioremediation, Reardon decided to combine his knowledge of biosensors and bacterial enzymes to produce a better tool for measuring contaminants in water.
In 2010, working in tandem with Colorado State University’s tech transfer, CSU Ventures, Reardon spun-out OptiEnz Sensors, LLC, to develop, manufacture, and sell the biosensors. The company has identified over 50 candidate organic chemicals and has constructed and tested sensor tips for 20 different organic chemicals including alcohols, sugars, hydrocarbons, and solvents. The company is engaged in product trials, as well as sponsored development pilot projects with customers.
Continuous Monitoring, Real-Time Decisions
What’s in the water? It’s a critical question, whether you’re producing a multi-million dollar batch of a pharmaceutical or treating oil and gas waste water from fracking operations. Everyone is concerned about water. In fact, monitoring water is of major importance for biopharma R&D and manufacturing, biofuels production, oil and gas waste water treatment, beverage production, and groundwater site remediation.
Today, process operators in these industries are “flying blind.” After sending samples to expensive analytical laboratories it takes hours, days, or weeks to get answers. Without real-time, on-line data it isn’t possible to optimize process performance, increase efficiency, and ensure process compliance and environmental stewardship.
OptiEnz Sensors has developed breakthrough technology for making real-time decisions – biosensors based on a combination of enzymes and fiber optic technology providing real-time continuous measurement results with the same accuracy as laboratory equipment. OptiEnz measures a broad range of organic chemicals including sugars, alcohols, hydrocarbons and solvents.