Navigation Links
NRL partners with industry to develop compact biosensor for wide-ranging applications

Scientists at the Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) are partnering with industry to develop a sensor system for biomolecules that could make a significant contribution to a variety of fields such as healthcare, veterinary diagnostics, food safety, environmental testing, and national security. NRL has developed a highly sensitive, portable biosensor system called the compact Bead Array Sensor System (cBASS). This innovative instrument utilizes a special integrated sensor chip, called the Bead ARray Counter (BARC), which contains an embedded array of giant magnetoresistive sensors. With 64, 200 m diameter sensors on the chip, BARC has the potential to detect 64 different target analytes. Through the efforts of Dr. Lloyd Whitman, former head of the Surface Nanoscience and Sensor Technology Section at NRL, the NRL-developed technology has been licensed to Seahawk Biosystems Corporation in Rockville, Maryland, for further development in veterinary diagnostic, clinical diagnostic, and environmental applications.

Researchers at NRL began working on the magnetoelectronic biosensor concept more than a decade ago, under the leadership of Dr. Richard Colton and former NRL researcher Dr. David Baselt. Dr. Baselt used a quantum-mechanical effect called giant magnetoresistance (GMR). In simplistic terms, GMR materials are magnetic field-dependent resistors, i.e. their resistance changes when subjected to an externally applied magnetic field. GMR devices are typically constructed of alternating magnetic and non-magnetic metal thin-film multilayers that are only nanometers in thickness. Dr. Baselt looked specifically at a type of GMR called multilayer GMR in which the resistance of two thin antiferromagnetically exchange-coupled layers, separated by a thin non-magnetic conducting layer, can be altered by changing the moments of the ferromagnetic layers from anti-parallel to parallel. This change decreases the spin-dependent interfacial scattering of charge carriers resulting in a decrease in the resistance of the GMR material. Dr. Baselt realized this very sensitive phenomenon could have potential in the development of sensors for biological materials which are naturally biochemically specific, but are not usually magnetic. By attaching tiny paramagnetic particles to biomolecules, such as proteins or single-stranded DNA, scientists could then perform standard sandwich-type immuno or nucleic acid hybridization assays over the GMR sensors. The GMR sensors, each covered with complementary protein or single-stranded DNA (the "probe"), could then detect the magnetically labeled biomolecules (the "target") the assays were designed to identify.

A decade in the making, the instrumentation that reads the BARC chip is called the "compact Bead Array Sensor System" (cBASS). NRL's current engineering team is led by Dr. Cy Tamanaha, working with Dr. Jack Rife, Mr. Matthew Kniller, and Mr. Michael Malito. The engineering team has worked to make many improvements to cBASS, including:

  • a new quick assembly assay cartridge with an integrated microfluidic cell, PCMCIA interface and kinematic microfluidics bus;
  • an onboard fully automated fluidic valve and pumping system;
  • a new electromagnet design with lower power requirements;
  • a faster data exchange via USB with the controlling computer; and
  • a rechargeable battery unit for enhanced portability (they have shrunk cBASS down to approximately the size of a shoebox).

Ultimately, the success of the NRL's magnetoelectronic biosensor depends on the performance of the microbead label assays whose continued development is currently spearheaded by Dr. Shawn Mulvaney with the assistance of Ms. Kristina Myers. Over the past several years, NRL has made significant strides in surface biofunctionalization and assay development. With these advances, they have achieved high sensitivity and speed; low, non-specific binding with femtomolar DNA and attomolar protein detection, typically in less than 10 minutes. One important characteristic of the NRL-developed assays is that the size of the microbead labels allows for either magnetoelectronic detection with GMR sensors, or optical enumeration with image processing software via a standard low-power microscope. The detection sensitivity under each method is nearly identical. However, there are differences in the two methods related to the size of the detection system and the cost of the consumables used.


Contact: Donna McKinney
Naval Research Laboratory

Related medicine news :

1. AtriCure to Present at Thomas Weisel Partners 2007 Healthcare Conference
2. Matrixx Initiatives, Inc. to Present at the Roth Capital Partners 2007 New York Conference
3. ATS Medical to Present at the 2007 Thomas Weisel Partners Healthcare Conference
4. Thailand: Partners Open Free AIDS Treatment Clinic in Renowned AIDS Temple in Lop Buri
5. AtriCure to Present at Roth Capital Partners 2007 New York Conference
6. MDS to Present at Thomas Weisel Partners Healthcare Conference
7. Lutheran Senior Services Partners with Silverchair Learning Systems to Enhance Employee Training and Education
8. AMICAS to Present at Thomas Weisel Partners Healthcare Conference 2007
9. Mettler-Toledo International Inc. Announces Webcast of Presentation at Thomas Weisel Partners 2007 Healthcare Conference
10. National Patient Safety Foundation Partners with Vocera Communications
11. TriWest Creates First-of-its-Kind Partnership to Offer Military Leaders With Grief Support Program
Post Your Comments:
Related Image:
NRL partners with industry to develop compact biosensor for wide-ranging applications
(Date:11/26/2015)... ... ... Indosoft Inc., developer and distributor of the world-class Asterisk based contact center software Q-Suite, ... The new Q-Suite 6 platform is based on the latest Java Enterprise standards. By ... piece of software for many key components of the suite. Much of the suite ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... 25, 2015 , ... Medical Solutions, one of the nation’s ... workplace culture with the company’s Cincinnati office being named a finalist among greater ... named a finalist in Cincinnati Business Courier’s 13th annual Greater Cincinnati Best Places ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... ... For the first time, Vitalalert is donating half of its earnings to ... between the two groups began in 2014 with Vitalalert pledging a portion of every ... founded in 1954 and is an international Christian-based health organization whose mission is to ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... November 25, 2015 , ... ... athletic programs, launches new Wimbledon Athletics Facebook page to educate the ... for unsuspected cardiac abnormalities. About 2,000 people under the age of 25 die ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... PALO ALTO, Calif. (PRWEB) , ... November 25, 2015 , ... ... Beddit Smart and Beddit Classic sleep tracking systems. The new app features a more ... to see and understand how well you slept. The SleepScore is created by a ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/26/2015)... 2015 ... the  "2016 Future Horizons and Growth ... Marker Testing Market: Supplier Shares, Competitive ... offering.  --> ) ... "2016 Future Horizons and Growth Strategies ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... Calif. , Nov. 25, 2015  Amgen (NASDAQ: ... Biologics License Application (BLA) with the United ... for ABP 501, a biosimilar candidate to Humira ® ... adalimumab biosimilar application submitted to the FDA and represents ... Sean E. Harper , M.D., executive vice ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... , Nov. 25, 2015 AAIPharma Services ... investment of at least $15.8  Million to expand ... Wilmington, NC . The expansion will provide ... meet the growing demands of the pharmaceutical and ... site expansion will provide up to 40,000 square ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: