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Autonomous Pathogen Detection System

Global FIA has played a major role on a team with scientists at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in the on-going development of a stand-alone system for rapid, continuous monitoring of multiple airborne biological threat agents in the environment. This system, the autonomous pathogen detection system (APDS), when deployed, will act as an "early warning system" and is targeted for domestic applications in which the public is at high risk to exposure to covert releases of biological pathogens (such as in mass transit, office complexes, and convention centers), and as part of a monitoring network for urban areas and major gatherings (inaugurations, Olympics, etc.). The APDS will be completely automated, offering aerosol sampling, in-line sample preparation fluidics, multiplex flow cytometer detection and identification assays, and orthogonal, flow-through PCR (nucleic acid) amplification and detection.

Global FIA designed the "fluidics engine" of the APDS using a technology for which the company has coined the term, zone fluidics. Zone fluidics (ZF) is defined as "the precisely controlled physical, chemical and fluid dynamic manipulation of zones of miscible or immiscible fluids in narrow bore conduits to accomplish sample conditioning and chemical analysis". Global FIA has developed this technology into a powerful tool for sample processing and analysis. Three critical ZF components of the APDS are inventions of Global FIA or co-inventions of Global FIA and LLNL.

The APDS will have several key advantages over competing technologies:

  1. the ability to measure multiple agents and controls in a single sample,
  2. the flexibility and ease with which new bead-based assays can be developed and integrated into the system,
  3. extremely low false positive and false negative detection due to the presence of two orthogonal detection methods,
  4. the ability to use the same basic system components for multiple deployment architectures, and
  5. the relatively low cost per assay and minimal consumables.

LLNL and Global FIA are continuing collaborative research and development to improve the invention and to explore other usages of the invention.


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