Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors

Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button

Home > Press > Suitcase-sized detector can ID anthrax in one hour

Kent Loeffler, Cornell University
This photograph shows the device's microfluidic chip, which measures approximately one centimeter by 3 centimeters and integrates sample purification and real-time PCR analysis chambers.
Kent Loeffler, Cornell University
This photograph shows the device's microfluidic chip, which measures approximately one centimeter by 3 centimeters and integrates sample purification and real-time PCR analysis chambers.

Abstract:
A portable device can detect the presence of the anthrax bacterium in about one hour from a sample containing as few as 40 microscopic spores, report Cornell and University of Albany researchers who invented it. The device could provide early detection in the case of an anthrax attack, saving many lives.

Suitcase-sized detector can ID anthrax in one hour

Ithaca, NY | Posted on July 29th, 2011

The basic design, which is small enough to fit in the overhead compartment of an airplane, potentially could be tailored to detect countless other pathogens, such as salmonella, or be used in the field for DNA forensics.

"It was built with the notion of being portable," said Carl Batt, Liberty Hyde Bailey Professor in the Department of Food Science at Cornell and a co-author of the paper published in July in the International Journal of Biomedical Nanoscience and Nanotechnology (Vol. 2, No. 2). Nathaniel Cady, Ph.D. '06, a nanoscale engineer at the University of Albany, is the paper's lead author.

Seven years in the making, the detector requires that a sample be inserted into the device. From there the machine automatically recovers cells, collects and purifies DNA and then conducts real-time polymerase chain reactions (PCR) to identify if anthrax is present. PCR can amplify extremely small amounts of DNA and is a well-established platform for rapidly detecting biological material.

The researchers began by acquiring what amounts to a small suitcase-sized plastic box with the notion that, "whatever we do, it has to fit in here. It was a line in the sand, an engineering challenge where everything had to fit in the box," Batt said.

The shape of a heavily reinforced suitcase, the device is complete with pumps, heating and cooling elements, and optical and computational circuitry.

By tailoring different assays to the portable real-time PCR platform, the device could be used for a variety of applications in addition to anthrax detection, such as at a crime scene for forensics. For example, if detectives were to find a sample they believe belongs to a perpetrator, they might use such a device to rapidly and broadly determine the gender or eye color of the suspect.

The researchers are currently working to develop new strategies for pumping fluids in the device, a system that now occupies the majority of the space and most of the power. Novel pumping systems based on silicon processing are being created, which could allow engineers to fabricate most of the components of the system on a single chip.

The research was funded by KRAFT foods, the U. S. Department of Agriculture, National Institute of Justice and Food and Drug Administration.

####

For more information, please click here

Contacts:
Krishna Ramanujan

Copyright © Cornell University

If you have a comment, please Contact us.

Issuers of news releases, not 7th Wave, Inc. or Nanotechnology Now, are solely responsible for the accuracy of the content.

Bookmark:
Delicious Digg Newsvine Google Yahoo Reddit Magnoliacom Furl Facebook

Related News Press

News and information

A toolkit for transformable materials: How to design materials with reprogrammable shape and function January 20th, 2017

Explaining how 2-D materials break at the atomic level January 20th, 2017

New research helps to meet the challenges of nanotechnology: Research helps to make the most of nanoscale catalytic effects for nanotechnology January 20th, 2017

Ultra-precise chip-scale sensor detects unprecedentedly small changes at the nanoscale January 20th, 2017

Govt.-Legislation/Regulation/Funding/Policy

A toolkit for transformable materials: How to design materials with reprogrammable shape and function January 20th, 2017

'5-D protein fingerprinting' could give insights into Alzheimer's, Parkinson's January 19th, 2017

Strength of hair inspires new materials for body armor January 18th, 2017

Self-assembling particles brighten future of LED lighting January 18th, 2017

Announcements

A toolkit for transformable materials: How to design materials with reprogrammable shape and function January 20th, 2017

New research helps to meet the challenges of nanotechnology: Research helps to make the most of nanoscale catalytic effects for nanotechnology January 20th, 2017

Ultra-precise chip-scale sensor detects unprecedentedly small changes at the nanoscale January 20th, 2017

Chemists Cook up New Nanomaterial and Imaging Method: Nanomaterials can store all kinds of things, including energy, drugs and other cargo January 19th, 2017

Homeland Security

Nanosensors on the alert for terrorist threats: Scientists interested in the prospects of gas sensors based on binary metal oxide nanocomposites November 5th, 2016

Nanobionic spinach plants can detect explosives: After sensing dangerous chemicals, the carbon-nanotube-enhanced plants send an alert November 2nd, 2016

Notre Dame researchers find transition point in semiconductor nanomaterials September 6th, 2016

Down to the wire: ONR researchers and new bacteria August 18th, 2016

Military

'5-D protein fingerprinting' could give insights into Alzheimer's, Parkinson's January 19th, 2017

Strength of hair inspires new materials for body armor January 18th, 2017

Self-assembling particles brighten future of LED lighting January 18th, 2017

Dressing a metal in various colors: DGIST research developed a technology to coat metal with several nanometers of semiconducting materials January 17th, 2017

Food/Agriculture/Supplements

PCATDES Starts Field Testing of Photocatalytic Reactors in South East Asia December 28th, 2016

News from Quorum: The Agricultural Research Service of the USDA uses a Quorum Cryo-SEM preparation system for the study of mites, ticks and other soft bodied organisms November 22nd, 2016

Water, water -- the two types of liquid water: Understanding water's behavior could help with Alzheimer's research November 11th, 2016

How nanoscience will improve our health and lives in the coming years: Targeted medicine deliveries and increased energy efficiency are just two of many ways October 26th, 2016

NanoNews-Digest
The latest news from around the world, FREE




  Premium Products
NanoNews-Custom
Only the news you want to read!
 Learn More
NanoTech-Transfer
University Technology Transfer & Patents
 Learn More
NanoStrategies
Full-service, expert consulting
 Learn More











ASP
Nanotechnology Now Featured Books




NNN

The Hunger Project