Digital Consumer Healthcare



We utilize biosensors in our platform to perform detection of DNA, RNA, and proteins. Originally, these biosensors were developed to help diabetics monitor blood sugar levels, dramatically changing the way diabetics manage their disease, because they are inexpensive, portable, and accurate.

For years there has been interest in adapting electrochemical biosensors to detect DNA, RNA, and proteins, but significant technological hurdles have stood in the way. ruubix's bioengineering team has worked dilligently to solve these challenges and we can now detect very small amounts of target molecules in pure physiological samples with our biosensors through innovations in thick-film electrodes, surface chemistry and probe design.


We have the ability to produce thick-film electrodes which are exceptionally manufacturable. Others working on biosensors generally use thin-film electrodes that require significant time to manufacture using photolithography methods. Thick-film electrodes can be mass produced in the billions of units per year for pennies each.

Surface Chemistry

Surface chemistry plays a major role in the overall performance of electrochemical DNA biosensors. Physiological samples (in comparison to purified samples) generate high levels of background noise. Our surface chemistry dramatically reduces that noise by avoiding nonspecific adsorption (sticking) and related background contributions from other biomolecules present in a physiological sample. This significantly improves the signal-to-noise ratio, resulting in much lower limits of detection. In addition, control of the surface chemistry and coverage is essential for assuring high reactivity, orientation/accessibility, and stability of the surface bound recognition element.


On top of the surface chemistry lay recognition elements, called probes, that allow for the electrical signal to be generated upon binding to target molecules. Our bioengineering team has successfully created folding-based probe architecture, allowing reagentless detection of target molecules, and avoiding the need for a multi-step protocol. This enables the simplicity of the ruubix RNA/DNA detection platform.


Representative publications of our technology platform are listed below. Our biosensor technology has been proven to detect flu, UTIs, and cocaine. Members of our bioengineering team are displayed in bold:

"Ternary Monolayers as DNA Recognition Interfaces for Direct and Sensitive Electrochemical Detection in Untreated Clinical Samples," Susana Campuzano, Filiz Kuralay, M. Jesus Lobo-Castanon, Martin Bartosik, Kedar Vyavahare, Emil Palecek, David A. Haake, Joseph Wang. Available online, to appear in Biosensors and Bioelectronics, 2011.

"Ternary Surface Monolayers for Ultrasensitive (Zeptomole) Amperometric Detection of Nucleic Acid Hybridization without Signal Amplification," Jie Wu, Susana Campuzano, Colin Halford, David A. Haake, and Joseph Wang. Anal. Chem, 2010.

"Ultrasensitive Label-Free Aptamer-Based Electronic Detection", Yun Xiang, Mingyi Xie, Ralph Bash, Julian Chen, Joseph Wang. Angew Chemie, 2007.

"Single-step electronic detection of femtomolar DNA by target-induced strand displacement in an electrode-bound duplex," Yi Xiao, Arica A. Lubin, Brian R. Baker, Kevin Plaxco, and Alan J. Heeger. PNAS, 2006.

"Electrochemical interrogation of conformational changes as a reagentless method for the sequence-specific detection of DNA," Chunhai Fan, Kevin Plaxco, and Alan J. Heeger. PNAS, 2003.


Microfluidics is the exploitation of unique physical phenomenon at the microscale to execute chemical processes in a miniaturized and automated fashion. This is the miniaturization of chemistry, analgous to the minituarization of electricity enabled by the transistor.

At ruubix, we use microfluidics to treat raw samples and deliver target molecules to our biosensors for detection through innovations in capillary flow, microfiltering, and ultrasonication.

Capillary Flow

Our microfluidics technology allows us to accomplish filtering and target molecule delivery to sample in a completely automated fashion, without the use of pumps. By operating solely on the exploitation of capillary flow we are able to improve upon other microfluidics systems that require bulky and expensive external pumps. This substantially reduces footprint and improves overall manufacturability of the product.

Additionally, our microfiltering proceeds without added mechanical complexity as filters are built into the structure of the chip.


Representative publications of our technology platform are listed below. Our biosensor technology has been proven to detect flu, UTIs, and cocaine. Members of our bioengineering team are displayed in bold:

"Microfluidic Device Architecture for Electrochemical Patterning and Detection of Multiple DNA Sequences," Brian S. Ferguson, Ren Sun, Kevin Plaxco, H. T. Soh. Langmuir, 2008.

"Reagentless mechanical cell lysis by nanoscale barbs in microchannels for sample preparation," Dino Di Carlo, D. Jeong, K. H. Lee, L. P., Lab on a Chip, 2003.

"On-Chip Cell Lysis by Local Hydroxide Generation," Dino Di Carlo, Ionescu-Zanetti C, Zhang Y, Hung PJ, Lee LP., Lab on a Chip, 2005.


Digital Consumer Healthcare

ruubix is transforming diagnostics by putting the power of molecular diagnostics directly in the hands of the consumer. Our portable detection platform is designed to be accurate, easy-to-use, and inexpensive. Our bioengineering team has created core biosensor and microfluidics technology that has been demonstrated to work in 100% clinical samples such as urine and blood serum. In minutes, we can directly detect trace amounts of DNA, RNA, and proteins, collectively the most important indicators of disease states. We are first aiming our diagnostic tool at infectious disease and cancer.

Globally, diagnostics is a $42 billion industry with 85% of testing performed in centralized lab facilities. Currently, doctors in their private practices or within hospitals (at the point-of-care) must send clinical samples collected from patients, such as blood, urine, and nasal swabs, to a microbiology facility to be processed by a team of technicians. Results for infectious disease have a 24-72 hour turnaround, too slow for effective clinical management of time-sensitive infections.

This massive and centralized diagnostics industry is beginning to shift towards a more distributed model, a model that allows doctors to have easy access to important health information in a more clinically relevant time frame. The ruubix platform will accelerate this move towards distributed diagnostics.

Influenza Detection

Influenza, commonly known as flu, is one of the most common infectious diseases to infect human beings. During a normal flu season, for healthy adult populations, it is no more than a nuisance. However, because of the impact flu has on at-risk populations it is the leading cause of infectious disease death in the developed world, killing twice the number of people as AIDS in an average year (500,000 people worldwide.)

With the proper diagnostic tools, clinical management of flu can be significantly improved. People can get time-sensitive antivirals when they need them, reducing the rate of flu-related complications and thus helping save lives. Additionally, when properly administered to otherwise healthy adults, antivirals can significantly reduce the severity of symptoms and shorten the length of illness. A better flu diagnostic could help people get back to their normal lives more quickly by helping the doctor screen flu from cold in patients.

Flu has pandemic potential. During pandemics, healthy adults die in massive numbers because their strong immune systems overreact. The Spanish influenza pandemic of 1918 caused by the H1N1 subtype virus resulted in 50-100 million deaths worldwide, mostly people in their prime. Currently, the emergence of avian influenza H5N1 is being closely tracked by CDC and other governmental agencies around the world. This subtype is able to infect humans and produce a high mortality rate, raising serious global health concerns. Significantly, adaptation of these viruses for efficient human-human transmission could result in a new influenza pandemic.



ruubix began in 2009 when we observed the panic caused by H1N1 swine flu threat. With a background in life sciences and technology we began to explore the concept that pathogens could be rapidly identified in a portable way by looking at their DNA or RNA signatures.

Soon, a team began to take shape as the management, bioengineering, and advisory board teams came on board. A great synergy is taking place at ruubix as we work together to enable the vision of distributed diagnostics.


1100 Glendon Ave., 17th Floor
Los Angeles, CA 90024


Our corporate offices are located just two blocks from UCLA and the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center. Our technology is developed in state-of-the-art engineering facilities at UCLA, UCSD and UCSB.

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