NEW ORLEANS, LA - At the 2003 Spring meeting of the American Chemical Society, Dr. Heather Edberg presented early results from InnovaTek's personal Bio-Aerosol Sensor development program. A prototype device has been developed, which is the size of a paper-back book and will sound a warning to the user within 10 minutes when approximately 10 microorganisms are present in a liter of air. This is a sensitivity level that will protect most people from a lethal exposure to anthrax
"The technology will help warn people about possible exposure to air-borne biological pathogens so that they can avoid further exposure and seek treatment to prevent lethal effects" said Dr. Edberg, who is a staff chemist at InnovaTek and a lead scientist on the project. The device collects particles in the air, concentrates them in a liquid, screens the liquid for organisms, and retains samples that are positive for biological material for further identification of possible toxic agents.
According to Dr. Patricia Irving, CEO of the Company, and principal investigator on the project, the personal bio-sensor represents the newest product under development in their line of BioGuardian® products. These products were developed initially for biological warfare and anti-terrorism defense purposes but have broad applications wherever toxic aerosol particles may be of concern such as medical and food processing facilities.
InnovaTek creates and develops technologies for environmental safety and sustainable power. The Richland, WA-based company is developing the bio-sensor under a Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) contract from the U.S. Marine Corp. Phase I of the development process is nearing completion and will prove feasibility of the novel technology. The device will be commercialized following an 18-24 month Phase II development effort.