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Alto is the world's first SPR instrument to integrate digital microfluidics (DMF) with nanotechnology-based biosensors.

DMF technology enables all fluidics to be disposable, allowing for precise handling of 2μL sample volumes, crude sample compatibility and zero fluidics maintenance. Alto's compatibility with automation for both hardware and software provides sample-in/answer-out data, industry leading throughput, and 120 hours of unattended run time.

Every aspect of Alto is designed with user-friendliness and accessibility in mind—from the flexible 16 channel design to the intuitive data analysis platform.


The first‑ever DMF‑powered SPR system

Alto Cartridges have completely revolutionized the interaction of fluidics and SPR sensors by integrating them into one disposable microwell plate.


  • Kinetics/Affinity Characterization
  • Kinetics/Affinity Screening
  • Competition Assays
  • Yes/No Binding
  • Concentration Analysis
  • Thermodynamics
  • Epitope Mapping/Binning

Compatible with:

  • Proteins
  • Antibodies
  • Nucleic Acids
  • Small Molecules
  • Carbohydrates
  • Lipids
  • Cells
  • Viruses
  • Nanoparticles

Powered by the cloud to streamline your experiments

Alto features an end-to-end software suite that is built directly into the instrument, leverages the power of the cloud, and automates your experiments to reduce hands-on time.

Key Features

  • Minimize noise and dispersion; maximize sensitivity
  • Instantaneous rise times
  • 16 channels, intelligent assay design/optimization, automated serial dilutions
  • Automation-ready with plate & liquid-handling robots
  • Only 2μL required for full kinetics
  • Analyze crude samples with ease
  • Free of high-maintenance fluidic components and obsolete software

What is Digital Microfluidics?

DMF is a liquid-handling technology capable of accurately controlling and manipulating discrete nanoliter-sized droplets through the application of voltage on an array of electrodes.

Why DMF?

DMF fluidic handling technology removes the need for any physical pumps, valves, or tubes and replaces them with a low cost disposable cartridge, providing higher data quality and less hands-on time.

How does SPR work with DMF?

We’ve integrated our proprietary localized surface plasmon resonance (LSPR) sensors into DMF cartridges - creating 16 independently addressable channels on a single cartridge.

Advantages of using DMF-powered SPR

  • Decoupling of flow rate and sensor position from dispersion, increasing data quality
  • Up to 500X less sample volume required— get full kinetics from a 2μL sample volume
  • Decoupling of interaction time from sample volume, increasing assay flexibility
  • Automated serial dilutions—reducing human error and saving time

Meet Alto: the world’s first digital, high-throughput, benchtop SPR system.


Nicoya is a Canadian biotechnology company dedicated to improving human life by helping scientists succeed. Established in 2012, Nicoya was founded by Ryan Denomme in his relentless pursuit to use nanotechnology to increase the affordability and ease of use of scientific instruments. In less than 3 years, Nicoya has grown rapidly from 14 to 70+ employees who have extensive experience working at the forefront of nanotechnology and biotechnology sectors. Nicoya develops innovative and accessible biosensor technology for in-depth characterization of biomolecular interactions.

[Nicoya, Alto, SPR system]