Technology Overview

Universal Biosensors' (UBI) underlying technology and expertise is in the development and manufacture of electrochemical cells used to measure biomarkers in the blood.

With their ease of use, reliability and affordability, electrochemical based tests for glucose have proved to be commercially successful. However, despite their success, limitations in the way electrodes perform on blood samples have always meant that the results were never quite as accurate as test results from the laboratory.

These first generation electrochemical cells traditionally used electrodes positioned within the cell in a side-by-side or ‘co-planar’ layout to minimise electrical interference between the electrodes. This configuration limits the ability to correct for chemical interferences or patient to patient variations in red blood cells (hematocrit).

A significant breakthrough discovered and developed by Universal Biosensors' scientists and engineers was the understanding that the interference between electrodes is predictable and can be described mathematically. Surprisingly, this previously discarded “electrical inference” yields additional information about the sample including information which can correct patient to patient variations in hematocrit and interfering chemical substances that may be present in a blood sample.

UBI multi-layer strip with opposing electrodes diagram


The novel opposing electrode configuration used in Universal Biosensors' platform also removes the limitations which previously prohibited expansion of electrochemical cell technology to the testing of other substances. Universal Biosensors owns or licenses more than 500 issued and pending patents across more than 35 patent families based on "opposing electrode" cells, their manufacturing and application to specific product formats.

Opposing electrode technology offers the following advantages for point-of-care testing:

  • Greater information leading to improved accuracy
  • Smaller sample volume requirements
  • Low-cost automated manufacturing

The opposing electrode configuration has been proven in glucose monitoring with LifeScan’s OneTouch® Verio® system, developed by UBI and launched in 2010. The technology forms the basis for extension into a host of other point-of-care tests, some of which UBI has already commenced development work on.