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A spinoff of Los Alamos National Laboratory, Mesa Tech, has been awarded a $300,000 Phase I Small Business Innovation Research grant from the National Institutes of Health. The grant will allow Mesa Tech to develop an inexpensive, instrument-free, nucleic-acid testing device able to diagnose various respiratory diseases in record time.
The managers of Mesa Tech, who are currently developing a prototype, plan to initially target the global diseases surveillance market. They also envision applications in point-of-care diagnostics, particularly in poor areas of the world, said former LANL scientist Hong Cai, who co-founded Mesa Tech and is the principal investigator for the effort benefitting from the grant.
For point-of-care applications, Mesa Tech plans to develop an inexpensive handheld device about the size of a cell phone with a disposable cartridge, Cai said. In the case of a pandemic, such as SARS or avian influenza, the device also could be made disposable, she added.
Mesa Tech’s proposed instrument expands on technology
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