Sorex Sensors Ltd is a spin-out company from the Engineering Department co-founded by Sidney Engineering Fellow Professor Andrew Flewitt with Dr Mario deMigual Ramos, who has been a College Research Associate. The Company has recently announced the appointment of Michael LeGoff as a new CEO.

Sorex Sensors is looking to commercialise film bulk acoustic resonator sensors (FBARs). These devices can be made on silicon using the same processing technology that is used for fabricating most modern electronic chips. Most people carry an FBAR device around with them as they are a component in many mobile phones, where they are used to filter electronic signals. However, they can also be made with an exposed surface, typically only around 100 µm across, which is sensitive to the attachment of mass to the surface. 

The research in Professor Flewitt's group means that changes in mass as small as a few femtograms can be measured, or to put it another way this is around the same mass as a single virus. By coating the sensor surface, the device can be made to selectively respond to the presence of particular targets, either in liquid or gas environment. Applications of the technology include monitoring both particulates and chemical pollutants in the air, or detecting specific target molecules in the blood. For example, in a recent collaboration with Professor Vincent Gnanapragasam in the University's Medical School, it has been shown that the FBAR devices can detect prostate-specific antigen molecules in whole blood samples as a means of detecting prostate cancer.

Michael LeGoff has a track record of working in the semiconductor industry, including UK-based Plessey Semiconductors. He therefore brings a wealth of experience to Sorex Sensors to help them commercialise the FBAR devices.

Professor Andrew Flewitt said: “We are delighted to have Michael join the team. We are looking forward to this next phase of development, both in terms of products and commercial traction in our early-stage business. John has been hugely influential in getting us to this stage, including putting together the seed round and developing the early-stage strategy for the company. Michael and the team have a great platform to build on.”

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