GAITHERSBURG, Md., June 5 /PRNewswire/ -- BioWarn, LLC, a biotechnology research and product development company, announced today that it has successfully demonstrated the capability to instantaneously detect avian influenza (H5N1), also known as bird flu, using its new SmartSense system for the detection of biological substances.
Avian influenza is a viral disease that is spreading through bird populations across Asia, Africa, and Europe. The disease is of great concern because if the virus develops the capacity for human-to-human transmission, it could spread quickly around the globe.
Unlike other diagnostic and sensor technologies that take between 20 minutes and 20 hours to work, a SmartSense(TM) detector is a real-time sensor. It uses a microchip to capture the electronic "signature" produced when the avian flu (H5N1) surface contacts the sensor. Like a lock and key, this SmartSense detector is triggered only by the H5N1 target. The detector then automatically transmits the identifying information to users.
BioWarn also announced today that the United States Patent and Trademark Office approved for issuance its patent application for the SmartSense system. The patent covers key features of the system, including the integration of biochemistry and microelectronics to provide real-time alerts to the presence of pathogens. In addition to the H5N1 strain of avian flu, potential targets include HIV; tuberculosis; hospital-acquired infectious agents like methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus (VRE), or E. coli; bio-terror agents like anthrax or smallpox; or any biomolecule that can bind to a SmartSense detector.
"Today, there are more unseen and dangerous threats to our health than ever before. Detecting avian flu using BioWarn's SmartSense system is a major breakthrough," said Dr. James P. Wade, Jr., Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of BioWarn. "Using SmartSense, an outbreak of human avian flu can be detected and isolated in its early stages so that prevention, vaccines, and treatment can immediately be administered."
"While current techniques require additional processing, SmartSense detection is direct, positive, and binary, providing a real-time indication of the presence of a virus such as avian flu on a molecular level," added Dr. Jeffrey Riggs, President and Chief Operating Officer of BioWarn. "The SmartSense system instantaneously detects unique interaction signatures with extremely high reliability, and then wirelessly transmits the information to the necessary officials."
BioWarn's SmartSense system was created for health care professionals, researchers, scientists, pharmaceutical manufacturers, government agencies, first-responders and others to address the emerging threats of drug-resistant infectious diseases and public health risks from pandemic flu or acts of bioterrorism, such as the anthrax attacks through the U.S. postal system.
The SmartSense system has several advantages over current technologies. It is substantially less susceptible to false-positive and false-negative results than conventional diagnostics. Using extremely small samples, the system does not require lab equipment, a lab technician, or special procedures. A SmartSense device makes remote monitoring possible from anywhere a network reaches because it has on-board power and integrated network communications.
Because a fully developed SmartSense device will carry all core functionality on a single microelectronic chip, it will benefit from the scale economies of semiconductor manufacturing. With this affordability the SmartSense system brings advanced pathogen detection into the reach of those who need it the most, such as healthcare, biodefense, and first-responder organizations.
About BioWarn, LLC and Defense Group Inc.
Headquartered in Virginia with operations offices in Maryland, BioWarn, LLC is a biotechnology research and product development company that brings full-time, always-on biological substance detection and pathogen surveillance to the healthcare, bio-defense, and other fields. BioWarn, LLC is majority owned by Defense Group Inc. (DGI), which performs work in the national interest, advancing public safety and national security through innovative research, analysis and applied technology.
For more information about BioWarn, LLC and the SmartSense system, visit http://www.biowarnllc.com.