Autonomous Pathogen Detection System   [open pdf - 335KB]

"Biological terrorism is an increasing concern: biological technology is advancing in capability while also becoming more accessible, and terrorist activities are increasing in number, scale, and diversity. Dissemination of biological threat agents as aerosols is a particular menace because of the ease of widespread dispersal and the effectiveness of infection by inhalation. Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) developed the Autonomous Pathogen Detection System (APDS) for the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and Department of Homeland Security (DHS) as a means of detecting biological threat agents in the air. The APDS was developed for high-risk locations to reach the bestachievable combination of competing characteristics such as speed, selectivity, sensitivity, numbers of agents, and cost. For example, while fast detection can prevent exposures and allow the most effective medical treatment of people already exposed, false positive results must also be extremely low in a civilian setting. The APDS is the first actionable autonomous detector component of the DHS's BioWatch Program. The APDS instrument will be of interest to readers of this book because the analytical core of the instrument is a flow cytometer. In the initial stages of development, compact and advanced flow cytometers provided fast and sensitive detection of biological agents. In subsequent development, the more conventional cytometry approach was replaced with a Luminex assay platform and flow cytometer to allow detection of many agent signatures at once. The compact flow cytometer is one subsystem in the larger system which includes aerosol collection, biological reagents, sample preparation, result analysis, field packaging, communications, maintenance support, and remote monitoring. This chapter does not focus on the flow cytometer itself, but instead provides an overview of the characteristics, progress, and critical issues of an advanced, fielded system utilizing an automated flow cytometry system."

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Kim, Jason S. and Ligler, Frances S. The Microflow Cytometer. Singapore: Pan Stanford Publishing Pte. Ltd., 2010, Ch.17
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