Battelle introduces biohazard sensor system

Battelle, an independent research and development organization, announced production on Monday of a next-generation chemical and biological agent sensor system that is significantly less expensive than current technologies.

The Resource Effective Bioidentification System (REBS) was developed for the U.S. Department of Defense, homeland security and other federal biodefense initiatives. The system can also be used by the commercial industries to detect contamination during sterile production operations.

"Our warfighters, first responders, security personnel, and many in industry, need an affordable, reliable, high tech detection system capable of identifying new biological and chemical materials quickly, no matter the environment," Matthew Shaw, the vice president and general manager of Battelle's CBRNE defense business unit, said. "REBS is that solution. Its elegant, automated design eliminates the need for constant maintenance and support, saving an estimated $56 million for every 1,000 units."

REBS is a battery-powered system that can autonomously and continuously be used with operating costs of less than $1 per day per unit and assay costs of $0.04 per sample. Battelle's new technology eliminates the need for perishable reagents, instead using a combination of patented aerosol collection and optical spectroscopy to detect threats.

"Unlike current systems, with REBS there is no need to constantly purchase and replenish the system with expensive, messy chemistries and consumables to keep their identification systems running," Shaw said. "REBS can run continuously, without operator intervention, for weeks at a time... that's like having a car that drives me 90 miles to work and back, day in and day out, without the need to fill it with gas for weeks at a time."

REBS was demonstrated successfully in multiple government and independent trials, including a successful test in the Boston subway system.

Battelle applies science and technology to solve problems for government and commercial customers in the national security, health, life sciences, energy and environmental industries.

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U.S. Department of Defense

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