Navigation Links
MIT's PANTHER sensor quickly detects pathogens
Date:4/20/2008

CAMBRIDGE, Mass.--Researchers at MIT Lincoln Laboratory have developed a powerful sensor that can detect airborne pathogens such as anthrax and smallpox in less than three minutes.

The new device, called PANTHER (for PAthogen Notification for THreatening Environmental Releases), represents a significant advance over any other sensor, said James Harper of Lincoln Lab's Biosensor and Molecular Technologies Group. Current sensors take at least 20 minutes to detect harmful bacteria or viruses in the air, but the PANTHER sensors can do detection and identification in less than three minutes.

The technology has been licensed to Innovative Biosensors Inc. (IBI) of Rockville, Md. In January, IBI began selling a product, BioFlash, that uses the PANTHER technology.

There is a real need to detect a pathogen in less than three minutes, so you have time to take action before it is too late, said Harper, the lead scientist developing the sensor.

The PANTHER sensor uses a cell-based sensor technology known as CANARY (after the birds sent into mines to detect dangerous gases), and can pick up a positive reading with only a few dozen particles per liter of air.

The device could be used in buildings, subways and other public areas, and can currently detect 24 pathogens, including anthrax, plague, smallpox, tularemia and E. coli.

There's really nothing out there that compares with this, said Todd Rider of Lincoln Lab's Biosensor and Molecular Technologies Group, who invented the CANARY sensor technology.

Rider started developing CANARY in 1997 when he realized that there were no sensors available that could rapidly detect pathogens. His idea was to take advantage of nature's own defense system-specifically the B cells that target pathogens in the human body. B cells in the body are very fast and very sensitive, Rider said.

The CANARY concept uses an array of B cells, each specific to a particular bacterium or virus. The cells are engineered to emit photons of light when they detect their target pathogen. The device then displays a list of any pathogens found.

CANARY is the only sensor that makes use of immune cells. Other available sensors are based on immunoassays or PCR (polymerase chain reaction), which take much longer and/or are not as sensitive as CANARY.

Rider and colleagues first reported the success of CANARY (which stands for Cellular Analysis and Notification of Antigen Risks and Yields) in the journal Science in 2003. Since then, they have been working to incorporate the technology into a portable device that could be used in a variety of settings where environmental threats might exist.

The new device, PANTHER, takes the CANARY technology and combines it with an air sampler that brings pathogens into contact with the detector cells. The prototype sensor is about a cubic foot and weighs 37 pounds and is well suited to building-protection applications. With minor modifications it could also enhance biological detection capabilities for emergency responders.

CANARY has been tested in rural and coastal environments as well as urban ones. It could eventually be used on farms or in food-processing plants to test for contamination by E. coli, salmonella or other food-borne pathogens.

Another potential application is in medical diagnostics, where the technology could be used to test patient samples, giving rapid results without having to send samples to a laboratory.

Instead of going to the doctor's office and waiting a few days for your test results, with CANARY you could get the results in just a minute or so, said Rider.


'/>"/>

Contact: Elizabeth Thomson
thomson@mit.edu
617-258-5402
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology technology :

1. Arpida Submits New Drug Application for Intravenous Iclaprim for Treatment of Skin Infections
2. AstraZeneca Submits sNDA for SEROQUEL XR(TM) for the Treatment of Major Depressive Disorder
3. Targanta Submits Oritavancin New Drug Application
4. MedImmune Submits Biologics License Application to FDA for Motavizumab
5. Good Neighbor Pharmacy(R) Ironman Competitor Inspires Individuals with Diabetes to Live Without Limits
6. Seven Summits Research Releases Alerts on XOM, MER, DRYS, CSC, and PDLI
7. Cephalon Submits New Drug Application for TREANDA for the Treatment of Patients with Relapsed Indolent Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma
8. Exelixis Submits XL139 Diligence Report to Bristol-Myers Squibb
9. Angiotech Submits 510(K) To FDA For Its Innovative 5-FU CVC
10. Cephalon Submits Supplemental New Drug Application for FENTORA
11. AMDL Submits Data to FDA for Clearance to Market Its DR-70(R) Diagnostic Test to Monitor Colorectal Cancer Patients
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:10/11/2017)... Bay, Florida (PRWEB) , ... October 11, 2017 ... ... and Drug Administration (FDA) has granted orphan drug designation to SBT-100, its novel ... (sdAb) for the treatment of osteosarcoma. SBT-100 is able to cross the cell ...
(Date:10/10/2017)... ... October 10, 2017 , ... For the second time ... US2020 STEM Mentoring Award. Representatives of the FirstHand program travelled to Washington, D.C. ... US2020. , US2020’s mission is to change the trajectory of STEM education in ...
(Date:10/10/2017)... SomaGenics announced the receipt of a Phase ... (Single Cell), expected to be the first commercially available ... from single cells using NGS methods. The NIH,s recent ... development of approaches to analyze the heterogeneity of cell ... for measuring levels of mRNAs in individual cells have ...
(Date:10/9/2017)... 9, 2017  BioTech Holdings announced today identification ... its ProCell stem cell therapy prevents limb loss ... Company, demonstrated that treatment with ProCell resulted in ... as compared to standard bone marrow stem cell ... in reduction of therapeutic effect.  ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
(Date:4/5/2017)... 5, 2017  The Allen Institute for Cell Science ... a one-of-a-kind portal and dynamic digital window into the ... the first application of deep learning to create predictive ... lines and a growing suite of powerful tools. The ... and future publicly available resources created and shared by ...
(Date:3/30/2017)... -- On April 6-7, 2017, Sequencing.com will host the world,s ... at Microsoft,s headquarters in Redmond, Washington ... health and wellness apps that provide a unique, personalized ... is the first hackathon for personal genomics and the ... the genomics, tech and health industries are sending teams ...
(Date:3/27/2017)... ROCKVILLE CENTRE, N.Y. , March 27, 2017 ... by Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) ... Analytics Outpatient EMR Adoption Model sm . In ... top 12% of U.S. hospitals using an electronic ... recognized CHS for its high level of EMR ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):