PositiveID breadboard PCR chip a key step in detection technology

PositiveID Corp. said Thursday it completed development of a breadboard polymerase chain reaction (PCR) chip, a major component of its Firefly Dx assay technology.

The company said it is a significant step forward in the development of this detection technology.

"Completion of the breadboard PCR element of Firefly is a major accomplishment as it carries the highest risk of the development process," PositiveID Chairman and CEO William Caragol said. "We are confident in our design, and our next objective is to prove we can deliver real-time PCR results at standard volumes in minutes, which, we believe, would be groundbreaking in the multibillion dollar real-time PCR market."

The system is being developed to be able to accurately detect biological agents within a 20-minute period.

The company has been successful in developing and producing a large-scale PCR detection system with grant support from the Department of Homeland Security.

The company is hoping its Firefly Dx will provide the same results with similar timeframes but in a hand-held device that could be used in remote locations. The company said this would be beneficial to first response teams in areas where a large-scale detection system could not be easily accessible.

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