Universal Detection Technology responds to Homeland Security request

Universal Detection Technology has responded to the Department of Homeland Security's recent request for research proposals aimed at detecting and containing harmful bioagents used for bioterrorism, including anthrax.

 “We plan to work with the DHS and other government agencies in providing the best products and technologies to combat this threat," Jacques Tizabi, UNDT's CEO, told Business Wire.

The Department of Homeland Security's Broad Agency Announcement seeks research and development proposals for bacterial biothreat antigen detection and identification in multiple Technical Focus Areas. Specifically, the BAA focuses on bacterial agent detection, surveillance and identification research.

The BAA is calling for proposals on research aimed at recovering, extracting and preserving the antigenic signature of the bioagents from their associated samples as well as detection and identification of the presence of bacterial biothreat agents that are present in samples that use non-immunological methods of detection to analyze samples for bacterial biothreat agent antigenic material.

Universal Detection Technology has said that it plans to adapt technology licensed from NASA's JPL for a method of non-immunological identification of bacterial biothreat agents. UNDT's technology utilizes a molecule unique to bacterial spores called Dipicolinic acid that combines with terbium ions.

By exciting the combined terbium ion and DPA, a luminescence is generated. This process is performed by radiating the complex with ultraviolet light, allowing for a non-immunological method for detection of bacterial spores.