Building on technology developed at Sandia National Lab, three institutions are joining forces to develop a field biotoxin detector for use by first responders after accidental toxic exposure or bioterror attack.
The Sandia-led project – which will include collaborations with the University of Massachusetts and Bio-Rad Laboratories – builds upon the success of the lab’s well-known “spit project,” a program also funded by the NIH. That project could allow dentists to one day quickly test patients for gum disease and other afflictions via saliva samples.
Anson Hatch, a Sandia bioengineer and a microfluidic expert, will lead the microfluidic assay development effort. The system will incorporate microfluidic methods developed by Hatch and others at Sandia that facilitate hands-free analysis by integrating sample pretreatment with electrophoretic immunoassays that quickly measure analyte concentrations in blood. The self-contained device will consist of miniaturized electronics, optical elements, fluid-handling components, data acquisition software, and a user interface.