Army wants sensitive, fast device that can withstand wartime conditions in the field.

Micronics has won a $2.6 million Applied Research and Technology Development Award from the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) to develop a point-of-care molecular diagnostic platform for detecting bloodborne infectious pathogens. The DoD is looking for an accurate, rapid assay that is more sensitive than existing platforms, provides instant results, and will stand up to wartime conditions in the field.

The device under development by Micronics is based on its PanNAT™ molecular diagnostics technology, which has been developed into a portable instrument utilizing diagnostic cartridges that contain all the reagents needed for disease detection. The DoD award will fund development of assays on the WiFi-enabled PanNAT for the direct detection of multiple pathogens including hepatitis B and C viruses, and HIV.

The funding has been granted under the U.S. Army Medical Research Material Command’s Polytrauma and Blast Injury project. Micronics will work in collaboration with researchers at the Naval Medical Research Command in Silver Spring, MD, and the Hepatitis and Liver Clinic at the University of Washington in Seattle.

Micronics’ PanNAT platform is a battery and/or mains powered instrument that provides results within just 30 minutes. The technology processes individual disposable cartridges that comprise all the reagents needed to perform either a single or multiplexed nucleic acid amplification assay using just a small amount of biological sample. The PanNAT system provides a sample results within about 30 minutes, and offers full connectivity.

Micronics’ in-house development of PanNAT assays is focused on a test capable of detecting malaria using a fingerstick whole blood sample, and a Shiga toxin assay that detects Shiga toxin I and II, and differentiates E.coli O157:H7 serotype, from diarrheal stool samples.

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