BiOptix testing bioagent, cancer detection device

BIOptix Diagnostics, Inc., based in Boulder, Colorado, recently announced that it will use a federal grant worth $250,000 to evaluate a sensitive device that can be used in the detection of biowarfare agents.

The company has said it will work with oncologists from the University of Colorado’s School of Medicine to evaluate the machine’s performance, reports.

Along with detecting trace amounts of bacteria, viruses, nucleic acids, antibodies and proteins, the device can be used to detect certain types of cancer, according to The prototype has been used by scientists at BIOptix to find clinically significant levels of human micro RNA’s in experimental samples. This may open the road for a greater level of cancer detection.

"Successful application of for early disease detection would be a major step forward in new diagnostic strategies for cancer and other diseases," Richard Whitcomb, president of BiOptix, said in a statement.

In 2009, the privately held company received at least $3 million in venture capital funds. The device is the brainchild of John Hall, a 2005 physics Nobel Prize laureate. BIOptix was founded in 2003 by Misha Plam, and was originally known as AlphSniffer.

BIOptix has several projects in the pipeline, according to BusinessWeek. They include cell array biodetection systems, biochip and optical cartridges, and pre-production small footprint and single cell biodetector systems.