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Border Security Expo 2012: Idaho Technology demonstrates FilmArray machine for testing respiratory pathogens

FilmArray from
Idaho Technology

Idaho Technology, Inc. is a bio-detection company that develops and sells machines for pathogen identification and DNA testing, according to its Website. Its scientific pursuits include bio-surveillance systems, food and water security testing, hi-resolution melting, mutation, scanning and genotyping.

At the 2012 Border Security Show, Biotech’s marketing manager for Biodefense, Lou Banks, was at his exhibition booth to demonstrate, among other products, the company’s FilmArray product, which was ranked #3 on Science magazine’s 2011 list of the best and brightest inventions of the year for life scientists.

According to Banks, the FilmArray conducts tests for a comprehensive array of respiratory pathogens.

Markets for the FilmArray and other Idaho Technology inventions include the military, federal government, public health laboratories, state governments and law enforcement. Banks says that the equipment is very easy and inexpensive to use -- taking about two minutes to set up and typically 30 to 60 minutes to come up with results. The whole thing was designed, he said, to make pathogen detection simple, accurate and fast.

Another benefit of the FilmArray product is that it can test for a whole array of potential respiratory viruses in one easy-to-use multiplex PCR. The FilmArray “Reagent Pouch” stores all the necessary reagents for sample preparation, transcription, PCR and detection in a freeze-dried format. The user simply injects a hydration solution and unprocessed samples of materials from nasal swabs from a patient, and the results are delivered in an hour or less.

The company is currently cleared for examinations for 15 pathogens. In January, it filed an application to be allowed to provide testing of five more. According to Banks, the company has plans for many new diagnostic applications, in fields such as Environmental Bioterrorism Threats, Blood Culture Identification, Gastro Intestinal Disease, and Sexually Transmitted Disease as well as other threats.


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