DN - Defence Notes

GA-EMS receives diagnostic device contract

20th February 2018 - 16:30 GMT | by The Shephard News Team


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General Atomics Electromagnetic Systems (GA-EMS) has received a contract from DARPA to develop a next generation portable diagnostic platform to provide bio-threat detection capabilities in the field.

Over the course of 12 months, GA-EMS will develop a verification prototype device and related assay cards for point-of-use molecular diagnostics testing.

The portable device will support soldiers by quickly performing self-testing for an array of infectious diseases such as Ebola, malaria, dengue fever, or influenza in the field. The hope is that early diagnosis of biological threats will translate into a faster response and more effective treatment.

The portable diagnostic platform device will feature a unique sensor technology and customisable, single-use disposable cartridges capable of lab-quality molecular diagnostics. A small fluid sample will be inserted into a cartridge containing a molecular sensor chip and various reagents that will react when they come into contact with certain pathogens.

Testing occurs when the cartridge is inserted into the device, which interacts with the cartridge to prepare and analyse the sample. An easy to read positive or negative test result will then be displayed in less than one hour.

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