Detection and Diagnostics focuses on developing tools to rapidly detect and diagnose high-priority and emerging biological and chemical threat agents both in the field and medical practitioner’s office as well as highly characterized microbe repositories for use in validation studies. Significant contributions in the field include developing and validating environmental assays for use by first responders, multiplex assay panels for incident response and cost-effective approaches for effective use of the Strategic National Stockpile. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) maintains the Strategic National Stockpile, which houses large quantities of vaccines, medicine and medical supplies to protect the American public in the event of a public health emergency.
First responders and public health officials need validated detection assays so they can rapidly analyze samples and take appropriate defensive actions for public safety and public health. These BioAssays provide the capabilities to rapidly screen and detect high-consequence pathogens and toxins.
SenseNet aims to develop and demonstrate a multi-tiered, networked aerosol detection sensor architecture and information management system that provides real-time information (seconds to minutes post-attack), such as the source location, aerosol dispersion, and extent of contamination from a release, to public health and safety officials that an aerosol attack has occurred, in order to take immediate protective measures to reduce the impact of an attack.