Companies license real-time pathogen detection technology developed at Kent State, NEOUCOM

ltimately, two licensing agreements.

This research was funded in part through an $800,000 grant to NEOUCOM from the Department of Homeland Security, a $100,000 grant to Kent State from the National Science Foundation and a Research Challenge grant from the Ohio Board of Regents. Both NEOUCOM and Kent State supported development of the liquid crystal biosensor, and combined resources for two pilot studies.

"The most critical thing we can do as microbiologists in the next decade is to come up with technology that will identify microorganisms in real time. We have created a biosensor a detector for bacteria and viruses that will change the way in which detection and identification of microorganisms is done," said Dr. Woolverton.

The biosensor works by placing antibodies into liquid crystals and then introducing microbes (bacteria or viruses that cause disease) which are attracted to these antibodies. Using this technology, operators can identify specific disease-causing agents within minutes. The biosensor can be used to diagnose infectious diseases of all kinds, as well as bioterror agents.

"By working together, across institutions and disciplines, our research team was able to make this technology a reality. By integrating each investigator's expertise, we were able to create a totally new technology capable of quickly and accurately identifying microbes. This new technology can be used in any situation where rapid identification of microbes is required," said Dr. Niehaus.

"The biosensor breakthrough by Kent State and NEOUCOM researchers is a shining example of the power of partnerships and compelling proof of the key role public universities play in addressing public needs," said Kent State President Carol A. Cartwright, Ph.D. "In this case, the public good will be served by technology that both safeguards the health of individuals, families and communities, and boosts the economic health of our region."


Contact: Lisa Lambert
Kent State University

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