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The world?s growing mobility, mass tourism and the threat of terrorism has tremendously increased the risk of rapid spread of
infectious microorganisms and toxins. Therefore, there is a continuously growing demand for small, mobile, and easy-to-use
diagnostic systems for the automated detection of infectious and lethal agents directly at the point-of-need. However, the currently used
technologies for pathogen detection require relatively large instruments, complex bioanalytical procedures and highly skilled analysts,
which seriously limit the rapid and efficient response, as desired for the effective tacking of emergency situations. We have developed a
potential centrifugal lab-on-a-chip (LOAC) system for the automated detection of biological threats. It involves the LabDisk platform
and a portable fully automated LOAC system that performs complex biochemical analyses at the point-of-need. It was employed for
the detection of Botulinum neurotoxin by automated luciferase reporter assay in addition to the detection of Bacillus anthracis and
Francisella tularensis by nucleic acid analysis. The reporter assay detects Botulinum neurotoxin in samples such as milk, soup and blood
plasma in the concentration range of 8 pM ? 6 nM in less than 30 minutes. It is based on the detection of the proteolytic activity of the
toxin?s light chain, the purified toxin as well as the toxin in multi-protein complex form. On the other hand, the nucleic acid analysis
detects Bacillus anthracis and Francisella tularensis via isothermal polymerase amplification in less than 45 minutes.
Thomas van Oordt studied Chemistry at ZHW Zurich and Micro- and Nanotechnology at Vorarlberg University of Applied Sciences. He has several
years? experience in the chemical industry developing production methods for active pharmaceutical ingredients. Since 2009 he has been a project
leader at HSG-IMIT in Freiburg, Germany with a focus in centrifugal microfluidics.
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