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Innovative Colworth Park tenant helping monitor elephant pregnancy at Whipsnade Zoo

Innovative Colworth Park tenant helping monitor elephant pregnancy at Whipsnade Zoo

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AgPlus Diagnostics’ pioneering device used to monitor elephant pregnancy at Whipsnade Zoo

Innovative Colworth Park tenant, AgPlus Diagnostics Ltd, are working with the veterinary team at ZSL to develop a specific, point of care immunoassay system capable of monitoring pregnancy in elephants on-site at Whipsnade Zoo. 

The device will be used onsite by their veterinary team, who are world-leaders in elephant conservation.  

In the first trial of its kind, the ZSL team together with scientists at AgPlus used the newly developed system to monitor the progesterone levels of Karishma, one of Whipsnade’s Asian elephants. Karishma, who is part of the European Endangered Species Programme (EEP), was monitored during her recent pregnancy prior to the birth of her calf Elizabeth. 

If the trial is successful it is hoped that AgPlus will be able to provide ZSL (and other collections with breeding programs) customised, hand held, portable diagnostic systems for on-site measurements allowing tailored animal care as well as saving time and cost.

AgPlus Diagnostics is based at Colworth Park, an established location for scientific excellence, in Sharnbrook, Bedfordshire. The the ultra sensitive point-of-care electrochemical diagnostic business was formed in 2011 as a spin out commercialising technology developed at the prestigious National Physical Laboratory in Teddington. Ag+ has developed highly innovative, unique, multi-patented technology for human and veterinary diagnostic applications.

Photo shows elephant calf  Elizabeth

Colworth Park 

Colworth Park is a leading enterprise hub and established location for scientific excellence in food, health and sustainability. The park has long been associated with scientific discovery and innovation and it’s a reputation that is set to grow further as the site develops. 

The park is set in 91 acres of rolling parkland on the edge of the village of Sharnbrook in Bedfordshire. Its world-class facilities paired with its dynamic campus culture makes it an attractive place to innovate and do business. With state-of-the-art laboratories and research facilities to premier office space, Colworth Park presents a first-class location for the UK’s leading science and technology businesses to thrive, create and collaborate. 

For more than 60 years Colworth Park has been home to Unilever’s Scientific Research in discovery, central product safety, sustainability and global product development activities as well as a range of other growing organisations and academic research groups. It is an established location for scientific excellence in commercial research and development throughout the supply chain, including foundation research, prototyping and market development. 

Today, Colworth Park is home to a host of enterprises; from start-ups to global corporations, focusing on food, health, medical devices, antibodies, sustainability, life sciences, green energy and planning. 

AG Plus Diagnostics Ltd 

AgPlus Diagnostics is based at Colworth Science Park in Sharnbrook, Bedfordshire. The Ag+ technology was initially developed at the National Physical Laboratory and was spun out in October 2011. 

The focus of the development programme at Ag+ has been to deliver a rapid diagnostic platform technology that would deliver a real difference to how test results can be used when obtained outside of the laboratory environment. Ag+ has been developing our primary assay technology and reader system set against key development criteria including: 

·       rapid, fully quantitative assay results

·       highly sensitive, comparable to laboratory analysers

·       cost effective diagnostic system

·       portable, handheld system

·       flexible system which can handle multiple sample types

·       communications enable to allow for integration into existing information systems 

The Ag+ microfluidic chip and reader system developed, allows for its use across a variety of applications including human, veterinary and environmental diagnostic testing. 

Contact info@agplusdiagnostics.com or call +44 (0)1234 867100 for more information. 


If you would like to help ZSL in their mission to protect endangered wildlife please contact: Sandra Crewe, Head of Corporate Partnerships, Zoological Society of London



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