MicroFluidic Systems Inc. Secures Increased Funding to Develop Autonomous Pathogen Detection Systems

PLEASANTON, Calif. -- MicroFluidic Systems Inc.(MFSI) announces that it has received a contract for $1.5 million from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) as part of a collaboration with Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL). This is the second year of funding from DARPA, which provided MFSI about $1 million in funding in 2002.

This effort is part of a larger DARPA program provided to LLNL to build a fully integrated, autonomous, continuously operating, airborne pathogen detection and identification system. The product, called RAIDDS (Rapid, Autonomous, Integrated DNA/RNA Detection System), is designed to be capable of simultaneously identifying more than 10 different pathogens in an automated fashion without the use of robotics or human intervention.

As their part of this effort, MFSI is providing their proprietary sample processing systems such as spore/cell lysis, and nucleic acid purification technologies, as well as microfluidics and molecular biology expertise. MFSI's sample processing systems have been shown to provide a unique capability to process complex samples in minutes and in an automated and continuously operating fashion, which is critical to biodefense, industrial, hospital, government, and homeland security applications. As well, these systems are the basis of MFSI commercial products for pathogen monitoring and sample processing.

"MicroFluidic Systems is pleased to have a significant increase in funding and to continue to work closely with DARPA and LLNL in this effort," commented Dr. M. Allen Northrup, CEO and president of MFSI. "We continue to be highly committed to the U.S. biodefense effort and have our eye on the significant commercial potential for these systems as well."

MicroFluidic Systems Inc. was founded in 2001 and is focused on the development of automated microfluidic systems for biological assays. MFSI personnel have been involved with the development of automated DNA-based pathogen detection systems and microfluidics for the U.S. government and commercial markets for more than 10 years, including the world's first miniaturized, portable, battery-operated, real-time, polymerase-chain-reaction (PCR)-based pathogen detection system.

Source: MFSI