Research Foundation News

October 4, 2016

Purdue-related startup commercializing, point-of-care kidney disease detection technologies to guide early intervention, prevent dialysis

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – A Purdue-related startup has licensed technology that could be used in devices to detect kidney damage earlier than current methods and help prevent the need for dialysis or kidney transplants. The point-of-care technology could also provide a large cost benefit to the health-care system.

“Kidneys are able to withstand a certain amount of damage and still function, but there’s a threshold. When that threshold is met the real function of the organ is completely compromised,” said Vincent Jo Davisson, co-founder of Amplified Sciences, the company commercializing the technology, and professor in Purdue’s College of Pharmacy. “One in three American adults is at risk for developing kidney disease; 26 million Americans now have kidney disease. Those individuals at risk need to have blood and urine tests too. Kidney disease has become the ninth leading cause of death, and dialysis costs the health system approximately $80,000 per patient per year in the United States. So, detecting kidney damage early can provide significant cost and health benefits.”

Matthew Bartolowits, co-founder of the company, said kidney function testing technologies currently on the market are limited in scope.        

“Blood tests and urine tests only detect kidney damage after kidney function has been compromised. Since kidney disease is progressive, the damage tends to be permanent, so it is important to identify the disease early when treatments can prevent further progression,” he said. “The current standard of care in kidney testing fails to differentiate between the various causes of damage and, thus, are limited in information needed to take the best treatment path. We are interested in filling this gap with our technologies.”

Amplified Sciences has licensed a Purdue sensing detection technology for biomolecules, which will be integrated into devices that could provide earlier, more comprehensive detection of kidney function and damage allowing early intervention and treatment.

“Our technology is based on an optical spectroscopy called Raman. What’s unique about this technology is the way we use chemistry and spectroscopy to enhance detection at levels that are very difficult to achieve using current standard methodologies,” Davisson said. “We believe this technology could be particularly advantageous in monitoring very dilute samples, in urine for instance. Not only could it allow clinicians and patients the ability to detect kidney damage, but to also understand the progression of the damage and the correlation between the patient’s other health conditions.”

Amplified Sciences will develop the technology for point-of-care systems that will include an easy to use test strip and reader console. The focus is currently in the laboratory experimental and pre-clinical phase to develop the technology before clinical testing.

“We’ve been able to demonstrate versatility with the technology, meaning that the bio signatures that we need to incorporate into the test can be interchanged, and we think that’s one of its advantages,” Bartolowits said. “It’s not just one product, it’s actually multiple products. We’re in the early stages of integrating the unique sensing technology into a platform that the company will develop and enter into laboratory medicine and other approved medical businesses.”

Amplified Sciences received $20,000 from the Purdue Trask Innovation Fund and $20,000 from the Elevate Purdue Foundry Fund Black Award. The company also participated in the National Science Foundation I-Corps program.

Technology used by Amplified Sciences LLC has been licensed through the Purdue Research Foundation Office of Technology Commercialization. Amplified Sciences is a member of the Purdue Startup Class of 2016. Purdue has 27 startups based on Purdue intellectual property that were launched in the 2016 fiscal year.

Amplified Sciences is seeking around $1.5 million in funding to help expand the company, and further develop the technology, and conduct clinical tests in route to market.

Amplified Sciences is a client of Purdue Foundry, a startup accelerator in Discovery Park’s Burton D. Morgan Center for Entrepreneurship.

“The Foundry has helped our company get to where we are today. We continue to work with the entrepreneurs-in-residence and they’ve been extraordinarily helpful,” Davisson said. “This feature and the ability to get early stage commercial ideation and business structure in place through accessing the entrepreneurs-in-residence are providing relationships that are more than just service at this point.”

For information on other Purdue intellectual property ready for licensing and commercialization, visit For more information about available leadership positions, investing in a Purdue startup or licensing a Purdue innovation, visit

About Amplified Sciences, LLC

Amplified Sciences is an early stage venture dedicated to commercial applications of quantitative single molecule sensing technologies. As a platform chemical technology company, Amplified Sciences pursues customer segment identification and partners for early stage commercial product concept testing.

About Purdue Research Foundation Office of Technology Commercialization

The Purdue Research Foundation Office of Technology Commercialization operates one of the most comprehensive technology transfer programs among leading research universities in the U.S. Services provided by this office support the economic development initiatives of Purdue University and benefit the university's academic activities. The office is managed by the Purdue Research Foundation, which received the 2014 Incubator Network of the Year from the National Business Incubation Association for its work in entrepreneurship. For more information about funding and investment opportunities in startups based on a Purdue innovation, contact the Purdue Foundry at For more information on licensing a Purdue innovation, contact the Office of Technology Commercialization at .

Purdue Research Foundation contact: Hillary Henry, 765-588-3586,

Source:   Vincent Davisson,

Matthew D Bartolowits,

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