Nicoya, a leading provider of advanced analytical instruments for the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries, today announced the launch of Alto, the world’s first fully-automated, high-throughput benchtop surface plasmon resonance (SPR) system. As the first-ever SPR instrument to integrate digital microfluidics (DMF), artificial intelligence (AI), and nanotechnology, Alto provides high-quality, label-free interaction analysis. This breakthrough product reduces the time and cost of drug discovery, enabling scientists to better understand and cure human diseases faster.

Unlike other SPR instruments in the market today, Alto uses DMF technology. DMF is a liquid-handling technology capable of accurately controlling and manipulating discrete nanolitre droplets with electricity. It removes the need for any physical pumps, valves, or tubes; instead replacing them with a low-cost disposable cartridge that is compatible with the standard well-plate form factor. This enables highly accurate and repeatable measurements of kinetics and affinity, without labels and with extremely small sample volumes.

“We’ve spent years working with the world’s leading scientists and researchers to better understand the issues they experience with SPR, including high costs, low throughput, frequent downtime, and complex assay design requirements,” said Ryan Denomme, co-founder and CEO of Nicoya. “Alto is the third instrument we have released to date, but the first to use DMF technology for SPR, which solves all of these issues.”

With Alto’s groundbreaking, digital approach to SPR, all fluidics are contained within the disposable cartridge, so scientists never have to run another cleaning cycle again. It also allows for precise handling of 2μL sample volumes for full kinetics, which is 500X less than the sample volume of traditional SPR instruments. Alto also ensures crude sample compatibility and requires no maintenance.

Every aspect of Alto is designed to make it user friendly and accessible, from the flexible 16-channel design and automated serial dilutions to the seamless integration with robotics. With a state-of-the-art software solution featuring impressive AI-driven automation capabilities and flexibility, Alto provides sample-in/answer-out data, industry leading throughput, and 24/7 runtime.

“By combining the advantages of DMF technology with several other innovations, Alto significantly reduces the hands-on time scientists have to endure to get high quality SPR data,” said Arjun Sudarsan, CTO of Nicoya. “The future of drug discovery is digital and Alto is very well positioned to lead the way.”

Alto is making its debut at the PEPTALK and SLAS conferences taking place this month in San Diego. This all-new digital benchtop SPR will be showcased at PEPTALK in booth 523 from Jan. 21-23 and at SLAS in booth 220 from Jan. 27-29.

Nicoya is currently accepting pre-orders for Alto, which is anticipated to ship later this year. For additional information on Alto and its approach to revolutionizing drug discovery, visit

About Nicoya

Nicoya is a leading provider of advanced analytical instruments for the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries. The Canadian company’s mission is to improve human life by helping scientists succeed. Its instruments are used by hundreds of world-renowned researchers in over 40 different countries. Information about Nicoya can be found at, on TwitterFacebookLinkedIn, and Instagram.

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