Edgewood Chemical Biological Center receives patent for mobile lab

The U.S. Army Edgewood Chemical Biological Center’s Mobile Labs and Kits Team was recently awarded a patent for developing a mobile laboratory.

The All Hazards Receipt Facility includes containment areas that meet BioSafety level 2 and BioSafety level 3 standards and was funded by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. The Mobile Labs and Kits Team fully designed, developed and built the facility.

"These mobile laboratories are the key to ensuring the safety of lab personnel by taking in an unknown sample directly into a controlled environment. It makes safety the number one priority when triaging the sample for identification," George Noya, the ECBC Mobile Labs and Kits Team leader, said.

The BSL-3 containment area of the facility is connected to a bleaching and decontamination station that has an airlock attached so that unknown samples can be processed while remaining under complete control. The facility’s air-handling system maintains air conditioning, filtration, exhaust and supports the proper BSL-2 and BSL-3 pressure differentials.

Nova said that the AHRF is designed to address the concerns of public health laboratories in the United States that have been inundated with potentially harmful specimens since the 2001 anthrax attacks. In 2007, DHS built two prototypes of the facility, both of which are still being used.