BioBriefcase to be made available for civilian use

Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory is hoping to make its patented “BioBriefcase” available for civilian protection against airborne biological terrorist attacks according to a report recently released on

The BioBriefcase, which is compact and portable, uses “microfluidic” technology to sample the air and warn of any biological agents, according to its inventors, Perry M. Bell, Allen T. Christian, Christopher G. Bailey, Ladona Willis, Donald A. Masquelier and Shanavaz L. Nasarabadi.

The inventors claim there are a wide array of uses for the device, ranging from first responder use to monitoring livestock or hospitals for the spread of viruses and bacteria.

The inventors told that the BioBriefcase uses advanced technology to take air samples and detect a wide range of bioagents, including toxins, viruses and bacteria.

The mechanism of the BioBriefcase, the inventors said, provides a “system for sampling air and collecting particles entrained in the air. The particles potentially include bioagents. The system comprises a receiving surface, a liquid input that directs liquid to the receiving surface and produces a liquid surface, an air input that directs the air so that the air with particles entrained in the air impact the liquid surface, and an electrostatic contact connected to the liquid that imparts an electric charge to the liquid.”

The electrostatic contact connected to the liquid gives off an electric charge to the liquid, the inventors said.

“Collection efficiency is improved by the electrostatic contact electrically charging the liquid,” the inventors told “The effects of impaction and adhesion due to electrically charging the liquid allows a unique combination in a particle capture medium that has a low fluid consumption rate while maintaining high efficiency.”