Patent Issued for Method and System for Sampling and Separating Submicron-Sized Particles Based on Density and
The assignee for this patent, patent number 8524482, is
Reporters obtained the following quote from the background information supplied by the inventors: "Viruses are considered to be among the smallest particles known to man. Viruses are about a hundred times smaller than bacteria, and make up a group of submicroscopic infectious agents that are unable to grow or reproduce outside of a host cell. Certain viruses can cause harm or death in their infected host. Because of their small size, viruses are extremely difficult to detect and characterize. Detection and identification of viruses have been a complicated process in any given environment, especially under combat conditions where pathogenic viruses can be used in biological warfare (BW). Devices are needed which enable detection of remote dispersal of BW agents in a field environment for early warning capabilities.
"Rapid detection and warning are essential for providing protection of civilians and soldiers from a BW attack. Previous known methods utilizing biochemical reagents such as multiplex polymerase chain reaction (PCR), low-stringency nucleic acid hybridization and polyclonal antibodies, are often impractical in the field. Polymerase chain reaction is used to detect the presence of a specific genetic sequence, while antibody-based methods detect specific antigens. Both methods work well when testing for known viruses for which genetic primers or antibodies have been developed. Such methods are expensive and typically require time and intensive labor for proper implementation, while providing limited detection capabilities restricted to only certain BW agents.
"Biochemical reagent based methods are often hampered by high frequency of false positives under both laboratory and field conditions. The PCR and antibody-based methods require a single test per virus, and often one test per strain of virus. This limits their capacity to monitor and screen all strains of pathogenic viruses in a cost effective manner. Furthermore, these methods cannot actively adapt to rapid mutation of viruses, or emergence of new, unknown viruses, thus failing to provide broad-detection of all viruses regardless of identity, known or unknown, sequenced or un-sequenced.
"As set forth in U.S. Pat. Nos. 6,051,189, 6,485,686, 6,491,872, and 7,250,138, assigned to the
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