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Purdue Institute of Inflammation, Immunology and Infectious Disease

The Institute of Inflammation, Immunology and Infectious Disease at Purdue University has partnered with Cleveland-based technology firm IdentifySensors Biologics to develop a rapid diagnostic platform for detecting pathogens, including SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.

The platform technology can be easily modified to also detect influenza, Zika, dengue, HIV/AIDS, hepatitis C, Lyme disease, mumps, measles, chickenpox and methicillin-resistant staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA) and foodborne pathogens.

The technology is based on the work of Lia Stanciu, professor of materials engineering at Purdue, who developed the technique of identifying pathogens by their induced distinctive resistance change to electronic materials.

IdentifySensors Biologics was founded on nanosensor technology developed by its parent company, IdentifySensors Fresh Food Enterprises, to detect spoilage and specific pathogens in the food supply chain. The electronic sensors produce real-time readings of chemicals indicative of food safety that can be digitally transmitted through wireless networks to optimize food supply chains.

“This new platform technology takes pathogen testing down a completely different path than all the other diagnostic tests out there now,” said Richard Kuhn, director of Purdue’s Institute of Inflammation, Immunology and Infectious Disease. “Our COVID-19 testing research is showing some very promising results.”

Unlike other molecular tests for COVID-19, the Biologics rapid molecular diagnostic platform automatically transmits test results to consumer smartphones and to the proper health agencies. Purdue University, with help from IdentifySensors Biologics, is researching and testing the platform to be commercialized in multiple settings, including clinics and the point-of-care.

“Purdue is doing a great job at developing the sensors for this platform,” said Gregory Hummer, MD, CEO of IdentifySensors. “We intend to commercialize this technology to be used in medical diagnostics, food safety and security, environmental monitoring and national security.”

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