Technologies
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WARF: P04357US

Bioagent Detection Device


INVENTORS -

Hongrui Jiang, David Beebe

The Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF) is seeking commercial partners interested in developing an inexpensive, real-time wireless microsensor for detecting biological agents in water supply networks and other aqueous environments such as the milk supply.
OVERVIEWBecause potential biological attacks against civilian populations have become an important issue for homeland security, practical and efficient biosensors are needed. However, no currently available biosensor systems are capable of detecting biological agents in real time.
THE INVENTIONUW-Madison researchers have developed an inexpensive, real-time wireless microsensor for detecting biological agents in water supply networks and other aqueous environments such as the milk supply. This system includes a microdevice composed of a sampling chamber and a capacitor chamber connected by a channel. A biosensitive membrane blocks the channel between the two chambers.

To detect a biological agent, a sample of fluid is introduced into the sampling chamber and contacts the membrane. If a target bioagent is present in the fluid, it causes the membrane to become permeable or even to dissolve. When this occurs, fluid flows from the sampling chamber into the capacitor chamber, creating a very large change in impedance and an extremely large electrical output signal. The output signal is then wirelessly transmitted to a device that alerts the user to the presence of the target bioagent.
APPLICATIONS
  • Detection of biological agents
KEY BENEFITS
  • Highly sensitive and selective
  • Generates few false alarms
  • Output electrical signal does not need to be amplified, unlike in other systems which use expensive, bulky devices that consume lots of power
  • Takes advantage of the large difference in dielectric properties between fluid and air to keep the device small and lightweight while still producing a large output signal
  • Inexpensive to manufacture
  • Potential to detect the presence of multiple biological agents for which the appropriate chemistry is available
  • Can communicate wirelessly over a large area
Contact Information
For current licensing status, please contact Jeanine Burmania at jeanine@warf.org or 608-960-9846.
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Since its founding in 1925 as the patenting and licensing organization for the University of Wisconsin-Madison, WARF has been working with business and industry to transform university research into products that benefit society. WARF intellectual property managers and licensing staff members are leaders in the field of university-based technology transfer. They are familiar with the intricacies of patenting, have worked with researchers in relevant disciplines, understand industries and markets, and have negotiated innovative licensing strategies to meet the individual needs of business clients.