The current method of testing requires 18 to 72 hours to grow cells in a laboratory before testing for pathogens in the blood. With the new technology, the amount of pathogen cells captured in each sample is concentrated, possibly reducing the testing time to just two or three hours.
The device is designed to detect the top 19 bacteria and five fungi to be found in bloodstream infections. In the event of a bioterror attack or epidemic, it is imperative that these tests are done as quickly as possible to detect bacteria or fungi in the blood.
The funding also covers the testing of a device that automates testing and allows for multiple samples to be processed at the same time.
The 12-month contract could be extended for up to three years and three months to a total of $21.5 million.