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NIAID funds Antigen Discovery for microfluidic POC device development

The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) of the US National Institutes of Health has awarded Phase I small business innovation research grant of $600,000 to Antigen Discovery to develop a microfluidic point of care (POC) diagnostic device.

The two-year award will fund a collaborative research effort between Antigen Discovery and the Henry Samueli School of Engineering at University of California, Irvine (UCI).

Under the collaboration effort, UCI will use its air-liquid cavity acoustic transducer (ALCAT) technology and Antigen Discovery will utilize its protein microarray technology and large library of serodiagnostic antigens for the device development.

Antigen Discovery president and CEO Dr. Xiaowu Liang said, "The development of hand-held point-of-care (POC) diagnostics will meet a vital need as the portability, ease-of-use, and prompt sample-to-answer times allow first responders to effectively assess the prevalence and spread of exposure in a population during major outbreaks."

UCI Micro/nano Fluidics Fundamentals Focus Center director, biomedical engineering department chair and principle investigator Dr. Abraham Lee said, "By incorporating novel ALCAT-based approaches into protein microarray assays, we will have the versatility and power to reduce enzymatic development times, limit production costs, and fully integrate all components into a disposable assay."

Antigen Discovery founder and chairman Dr. Philip Felgner said, "We now plan to develop a point-of-care diagnostic system consisting of a cost-effective disposable microfluidic plastic chip and a portable analyzer that can be driven by a mobile computing device such as a smart phone for rapid serological evaluation of exposure and infections."