MENLO PARK, Calif., Feb. 23 /PRNewswire/ -- SRI International, an independent nonprofit research and development institute, has received a $3.8M contract from the Department of Health and Human Services Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA). SRI will research and develop a device to triage individuals who may have been exposed to ionizing radiation after a radiological or nuclear incident.
SRI International is the prime contractor in this collaborative, multidisciplinary project. The three subcontractors are the Armed Forces Radiobiology Research Institute (AFRRI), Stanford University School of Medicine, and Bio-Rad Laboratories.
To develop the radiation assessment device, the research team will combine a handheld detection technology platform with an assay format and biomarker panel. The tool will detect biological characteristics, known as biomarkers, to provide measures of an individual's exposure to radiation and provide test results within 15 minutes.
"In the event of a nuclear or radiological incident, it will be critical for first responders to quickly measure the amounts of radiation absorbed by potentially large numbers of individuals, since treatment options are dose-dependent and time-sensitive," said David Cooper, Ph.D., director of SRI's Sensor Systems Laboratory. "The goal is to develop a point-of-care device for first responders to easily determine whether an individual will require further testing and treatment by health care professionals."
In this first phase of the project, SRI will test and validate a panel of biomarkers to determine if they are accurate indicators of radiation levels. In subsequent phases, SRI will develop a prototype radiation dose assessment tool known as a biodosimeter. This handheld device will ultimately be used in clinical tests to demonstrate that the amount of radiation to which an individual has been exposed can be measured quickly by detecting biomarkers in a noninvasively collected sample such as blood, urine, or saliva. The biodosimeter will be designed as a simple tool for reading test results, as easy to use as a standard home pregnancy test kit.
The project has been funded in whole or in part with Federal funds from the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), Office of the Assistant Secretary of Preparedness and Response, and Office of the Secretary, Department of Health and Human Services, under contract HHSO 10020100007C.
About SRI International
Silicon Valley-based SRI International is one of the world's leading independent research and technology development organizations. SRI, which was founded by Stanford University as Stanford Research Institute in 1946 and became independent in 1970, has been meeting the strategic needs of clients and partners for more than 60 years. Perhaps best known for its introduction of interactive computing and the invention of the computer mouse, SRI has also been responsible for major advances in networking and communications, robotics, drug discovery and development, advanced materials, atmospheric research, education research, economic development, national security, and more. The nonprofit institute performs sponsored research and development for government agencies, businesses, and foundations. SRI also licenses its technologies, forms strategic alliances, and creates spin-off companies. In 2008, SRI's consolidated revenues, including its wholly owned for-profit subsidiary, Sarnoff Corporation, were approximately $490 million.
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