Innovation Anthology

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Program ID: Innovation Anthology #886
Program Date: 07/25/2017
Program Category: Agriculture, Alberta, Biotechnology, Health and Medicine, Life sciences, Women in Science

Dr Linda Pilarski: Rapid Test Fits On A Loonie

Dr Linda Pilarski has researched lab on a chip technology for many years.

Now as a professor emeritus at the University of Alberta, she has turned her attention from rapid tests for cancer to rapid tests for e.coli and other pathogens in food.

Her new device is being commercialized to reduce the cost and time of testing for meat packing plants.

DR LINDA PILARSKI:   It's actually really small.  The business end of it all is possibly the size of a couple of postage stamps..  And the instrument is the size of a shoebox essentially, maybe a little bigger.  So it doesn't take much bench space.  It doesn't have a big footprint.  The other advantage in addition to speed, is that we can do multiple samples on  one run.  So that means you could have, for example, 7 to 10 of your meat samples being tested for multiple targets to make sure if and what kind of pathogen might be present in the meat or other food process, and get that very quickly.  Which I think no other technology can do with quite that degree of multitasking.  

According to Dr Linda Pilarski ,  the testing device looks at certain aspects of the pathogen's DNA to determine if it's toxic or not.

Thanks today to Alberta Innovates

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