DUNEDIN, Fla., April 3 -- Ocean Optics Inc. has licensed a technology to detect quantify bacterial spores to a US Army Research Laboratory in Adelphi, Md. The technology has been integrated into a portable system for the instant detection of bacterial endospores in "suspicious" powders, including substances that are suspected to be concentrated forms of anthrax spores.
The EDS2000 Endospore Detection System uses Ocean Optics' miniature spectrometer technology to detect and quantify the photoluminescence of bacterial endospores in suspect samples. It tests for the presence of a major spore component, which is extracted from the endospores when it is added to a reagent in a disposable test vial.
There are only two genera of bacteria known to produce endospores -- Clostridium and Bacillus, the latter of which includes Bacillus anthracis (anthrax).
"When high concentrations of these endospores are detected, it's a strong indication of foul play," said Ocean Optics in a statement. The company said the EDS2000 Endospore Detection System produces results of testing of high-concentration contamination within one second. It has a detection limit of 100,000 spores; "by comparison, the contaminated mail sent in late 2001 to the office of Sen. Tom Daschle was reported to have as many as 1 trillion spores per gram."
The Army's bacterial endospore technology (patent 5,876,960) is also being investigated for use in air monitoring systems and mail-sorting machinery.
For more information, visit: www.oceanoptics.com