University of Tennessee-Developed Disease Detection Technology En Route to Marketplace

An innovative disease detection technology developed by University of Tennessee, Knoxville, and UT Institute of Agriculture researchers is on its way to the marketplace.

Released: 13-Aug-2014 11:05 AM EDT
Source Newsroom: University of Tennessee
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Newswise — KNOXVILLE —An innovative disease detection technology developed by University of Tennessee, Knoxville, and UT Institute of Agriculture researchers is on its way to the marketplace.

Meridian Bioscience Inc. has entered into a technology and commercial license agreement with the UT Research Foundation for the development of the technology that could result in low cost, point-of-care disease detection using a portable device. Meridian Bioscience is a life science company that manufactures, markets and distributes a range of diagnostic test kits and other technologies.

Developed by Jayne Wu, associate professor of computer science and electrical engineering in UT's College of Engineering, and Shigetoshi Eda, associate professor in the UT Institute of Agriculture Center for Wildlife Health within the Department of Forestry, Wildlife and Fisheries, the device can be used on site to detect infectious diseases, pathogens and physiological conditions in people and animals.

"As we see with the current Ebola outbreak, time is so important in successfully treating and preventing infectious disease outbreaks," said Wu. "This device has the potential to save a lot of lives by saving time in detection."

The device also will save money because the samples do not have to be sent to a lab and scrutinized by technicians. It can be used by any health care professional, anywhere. All that's needed is a droplet of blood, or other bodily fluids, to place on a microchip within the device. The microchip is treated with disease-specific antigens—a toxin or other foreign substance that induces an immune response in the body—and captures disease-specific antibodies in the blood. If the antigens and antibodies match, the device tells the health care provider that the patient or animal is infected. This happens in a matter of minutes.

The device is also capable of detecting pathogens or their antigens, making it highly versatile.

The technology has been tested for detecting human influenza A and tuberculosis in people, as well as Johne's disease in livestock. The scientists expect use of the device to be expanded to detect various diseases and physiological conditions.

For more information on Meridian Bioscience, visit http://www.meridianbioscience.com.

For more information on the UT Research Foundation, visit http://www.utrf.tennessee.edu.


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