For Immediate Release: March 24, 2000
WTC sponsors research in biological warfare detection systems
Seattle – MesoSystems, a Richland, Wash. biotechnology, company has teamed with Buddy Ratner, UW Bioengineered Materials Program, to develop thermally responsive “smart” coatings for an air sampler that collects airborne pathogens such as anthrax for rapid detection. WTC established the research partnership and is funding the project through its MEMS Initiative.
MesoSystems, Inc. released the device, Realtime BioCapture™, on the market a few months ago. When used with Mesosystems’ companion product, RealTime BioSensor™, the system is capable of detecting the presence of disease-causing microbes in minutes.
Originally created for the military, BioCapture equips emergency responders such as police, firefighters and medical personnel to respond to biological terrorist attacks. “Current methods for detecting airborne pathogens take at least 24 hours because the air samples need to be incubated,” says Chuck Call, President of MesoSystems. “BioCapture is an important new product for emergency responders because it reduces the amount of time personnel spend inside the hot zone.” The device is currently being field tested by fire departments in major metropolitan areas, including the City of Seattle. Other uses for the product include monitoring for airborne infections in hospitals and microbiological hazards in meat packing facilities
New coatings being developed will enhance the air sampler’s efficiency in collecting, concentrating and isolating pathogens. At room temperature, pathogens stick to the coatings, like flies to fly paper. When heated, the pathogens separate from the coating for analysis. Established in 1998, MesoSystems has grown from two to 24 people, and predicts 100% revenue growth this year. Their primary markets are military and civilian defense, medical and public health markets.
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