What We Delivered


Key Objectives

Matrix Microscience, aquired by Life Science Technologies Inc now a part of Fisher Scientific tasked DesignEdge Cambridge with the design of a high sample throughput, fully automatic and common protocol instrument using patented antibody coated paramagnetic particles. The challenge was to develop a benchtop, sample-prep system that isolates and concentrates target bacteria in food samples at high volumes with walk-away convenience. The system is designed to work in conjunction with reagent kits that isolate a variety of pathogens including Salmonella, E. coli, Listeria and Campylobacter.


DesignEdge was involved from ground up industrial design ideation to the mechanical engineering of a complex, precision product from detailed CAD modelling into manufacture, even managing the procurement of suppliers and tooling. A linear drive system was developed to integrate with a game changing easy-loading cartridge, creating a highly effective instrument cutting food pathogen testing workflow and cost per sample by 50%. PATHATRIX® is the ultimate method for rapid detection of a range of pathogens, spoilage organisms and viruses in food and the environment.

“PATHATRIX® AUTO selectively binds and concentrates target organisms from complex matrices found in food, environmental and bio-threat samples. The flexibility, accuracy and cost saving aspects of PATHATRIX® have proved to be an essential requirement for the world's leading food companies, ultimately helping to reduce the cost of testing and speeding up result times by days or hours in some cases, resulting in lower inventory holding costs. DesignEdge was our essential design partner in all aspects of product development from concept to detailed production drawings.”

Dr Adrian Parton, MBE
Play Video
Look Inside

Developed in response to an increasing demand for automation

PATHATRIX® quickly and easily concentrates pathogens and spoilage organisms from a wide range of food and environmental sample matrices for downstream testing by PCR, immunoassay or culture. The instrument concentrates and isolates specific bacteria such as Salmonella, E. coli O157:H7 Cronobacter, Campylobacter and Listeria from sample volumes of up to 60ml, supporting cost-saving pooling protocols, facilitating shorter sample enrichment times to reduce overall time to results and remove PCR inhibitors that can lead to indeterminate results. The PATHATRIX® system is widely used and approved by multi-national companies, contract laboratories, regulators and researchers.

Fully automated – simply load and push the button

Fully integrated industrial design with simple, easy use controls and innovative, fail-safe sample loading cartridges, PATHATRIX® AUTO takes just 16 hours to identify potentially fatal bugs, compared with between two and four days taken by existing systems. Speed is achieved by using antibodies and magnetic beads to extract bacteria from food samples without having to wait for them to incubate. A cost-effective instrument supporting pooling protocols that can save up to 90% on downstream detection costs.

DesignEdge developed the Sample Vessel Holder and Elution Vessel Holder accessories. The Elution Vessel Holder includes a magnet to capture paramagnetic particles after elution.
DesignEdge helped to develop the intuitive display panel featuring intuitive programming, a simplified icon based UI for effortless “day-in, day-out” use.
Faster time to results – concentrates target organisms from 10 – 60 ml samples, so less enrichment time is required.
The industrial design combines a large scale PU RIM enclosure and a silicone display panel with a user friendly interface and walk-away convenience .
Injection moulded ‘Auto Cartridges’ with sliding magnetic holder, syringe, valve plunger, capture phase, sample and elution tubes.
Ergonomic design with easy loading cartridges delivers a fully automated and highly intuitive benchtop device.