A Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) detection technology could speed up results for law enforcement authorities detecting bioterrorism attacks, doctors diagnosing diseases and regulatory agencies checking product safety, claim creators.
The advance, known as the Lawrence Livermore Microbial Detection Array (LLMDA), could enable law enforcement, medical professionals and others to detect within 24 hours any virus or bacteria that has been sequenced and included among the array's probes.
Developed between October 2007 and February 2008, the LLMDA detects viruses and bacteria with the use of 388,000 probes that fit in a checkerboard pattern in the middle of a one-inch wide, three-inch long glass slide.
The current operational version of the LLMDA contains probes that can detect more than 2,000 viruses and about 900 bacteria.
"The ability to detect the major bacterial and viral components of any sample can be used in countless different ways," said Tom Slezak, LLNL's associate program leader for Informatics. "This is important because it fills a cost-performance gap that is relevant to many missions: biodefense, public health and product safety."