The Microfluidics-based Bioagent Networked Detector (M-BAND) developed by MicroFluidic Systems (MFS) is a bioaerosol monitor with fully integrated systems with sample collection, processing and detection modules. Each module is fully functional and adaptable. M-BAND runs autonomously for up to 30 days, continuously analyzing air samples for the detection of bacteria, viruses, and toxins with results in as little as two hours. Results from individual instruments are reported via a secure wireless network in real time to give an accurate and up to date status for fielded instruments in aggregate. MFS has implemented its own biological assays.
Designed for either outdoor or indoor environments, the M-BAND will operate from - 25 to 125 ºF. The M-BAND utilizes the industry-standard TaqMan® Real-Time PCR with an end-point read and toxin immunoassays which are well-established in the field for optimal specificity and sensitivity. Designed with a high level of operational flexibility, M-BAND can be remotely set to detect for DNA-based pathogens alone, with or without either RNA-based organisms or toxins, or for all three types of pathogens simultaneously at remotely programmable intervals. Air collection rates of 400L/min have been achieved providing 10 mL of concentrated fluidic sample to the detection system. Sample processing time includes: 60 minutes lysis and purification and a thermal cycling rate of 1.2 min/cycle. The typical time for combined sample processing and detection is 120 min assuming 50 thermal cycles. Toxin analysis time is 40 min.
The net benefits of the M-BAND system architecture is an instrument that offers decreased consumable and operating costs, provides a small footprint, maintains a closed operating environment, and offers tremendous flexibility of operation and for future upgrades.
The pathogen detection assays currently implemented include Bacillus anthracis spores, Yersinia pestis bacteria, VEE virus, and botulinum, SEB and Ricin toxins including an internal bacterial positive control. The current platform supports over 70 RNA/DNA targets via multiplexing. The highest degree of specificity is provided by multiple gene targets per organism via multiplex TaqMan® Real-Time PCR, and monoclonal antibody-based toxin detection. Injection-molded, low-cost, disposable cartridges provide the basis of the M-BAND instrument, and are also valuable sub-system-level components with a variety of stand-alone applications.