Stratophase, a VC-funded, University of Southampton spin-out, specializes in real-time measurement of chemicals and biochemicals. The company has completed its Portable Integrated Battlespace Biological Detection Technology (PIBBDT) project recently.
A consortium of specialists in bio-detection, micro-fluidics and collector technology belonging to academic, commercial and military fields has been involved in the PIBBDT project. The UK Ministry of Defence provided the funds and Biral led the project.
PIBBDT aimed to build two portable, fully functioning prototype systems for detection of biohazards in the atmosphere. The testing was performed using model biohazardous agents. The systems had the capability to collect and concentrate the biological factors in the atmosphere in a liquid form. Stratophase’s optical microchip detector was then used to detect hazardous materials in the liquid sample. The testing technology detected the changes in the liquid’s refractive index as it passed over the chips surface.
Stratophase’s microchip was tested at Dstl’s bioagent exposure facility where it detected an anthrax causative agent, Ricin toxin and other bio-warfare factors. The chip contains immunoassay receptor chemistry for detection of biological agents and the company’s exclusively owned optical technology. A coating of specific antibodies that have high affinity and specificity to biological targets is provided to the chip. If the liquid sample contains any virus, bacteria or toxin, it binds to the antibodies and results in detection.