iSentry: An Integrated Microfluidics-Enabled System for Phenotypic Detection of Biothreat Agents

As part of a DARPA-funded interdisciplinary team of scientists lead by the Defigueiredo and Han laboratories at Texas A&M University, the Dr. Case has helped to develop a host response profile for a wide range of known bacterial pathogens ("foes") and non-pathogens ("friends").  The iSentry microfludics device will incorporate an engineered reporter cell line that is capable of sensing and reporting in real-time its interactions with unknown bacteria that are detected in an environmental sample (e.g. soil, or water). The single cells within iSentry will signal if they have interacted with a bacterial "friend" or "foe" by producing light which will be detected by the device. The ultimate goal is not only to design a machine capable of detecting bacterial threats, but also to identify them so the environmental risk can be appropriately mitigated.