DoD partners with Detect-Ion to develop Point-of-Care Breath Diagnostics for Early Detection of Infected Warfighters
The Floridant/10233770

TAMPA, Fla., June 6, 2023 ~ The United States Department of Defense (DoD) has recently taken steps to ensure mission readiness in austere environments by awarding an Other Transaction (OT) contract to Detect-Ion for the development of a Point-of-Care (PoC) Breath Diagnostics project called "CLARION". This project is in response to the need for rapid detection of infected humans in order to intervene early before severe conditions develop and to mitigate the spread of infections across a larger population.

The CLARION project leverages a chip-scale mass spectrometry technology originally developed via prior high-risk/high-gain IARPA and DARPA investments. This technology is used to detect trace chemical signatures in ambient air for strategic intelligence collection and early warning systems. According to Dr. Ashish Chaudhary, Founder/CEO of Detect-Ion and the principal investigator of the CLARION project, this technology will be adapted for human breath analysis. Human breath contains nitrogen, oxygen, carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, argon, water vapor, and trace levels of volatile organic compounds (VOCs). It has been demonstrated that relative concentrations of some VOCs can be perturbed due to a host's response to certain infections. The goal of CLARION is to establish relevant VOC biomarkers, adapt portable sensor hardware for exhaled breath analysis, and apply machine learning/artificial intelligence detection algorithms for near-real-time PoC infection screening.

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If successful, a single CLARION device could run up to 160 breath analyses per day at a fraction of the cost of rapid PCR tests. This could potentially offer high-throughput screening of large populations in densely populated military and civilian settings such as offshore deployed battalions, military installations, airports, shopping malls, hospitals, concerts etc. The project is planned over three years and allows DoD to pursue follow-on production if the pilot project succeeds in addressing the program metrics.
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