To address the necessity for a flexible and effective detection and diagnostic tool that can be used at the point of need, PositiveID is taking advantage of its state-of-the-art device and diagnostic technologies to develop the Firefly Dx detection system. The system is a two-part device consisting of a portable handheld instrument with wireless communication and disposable single-use cartridges containing all necessary analytical elements. The Firefly Dx is designed to be a cost effective and simple to use screening tool suitable for multiple applications and to be deployed in a wide range of environments. The initial, primary use of this system is expected to be in clinical and molecular diagnostic settings, agricultural screening in domestic sectors and developing countries, for point of need monitoring of pathogenic outbreaks, and for the detection of biological agents associated with weapons of mass destruction.
Firefly Dx is an agnostic handheld system that operates with a series of cartridges for biological sample processing and detection, providing laboratory-grade biological analysis and wireless communication of results in less than 20 minutes at the point of need. Firefly Dx combines sample lysis, purification, real-time PCR analysis, and the identification for nucleic acids of interest. The system is expected to be capable of processing a variety of sample types, including whole blood, buccal and nasopharyngeal swabs, urine, and environmental field samples. The incorporated, multiplex PCR assay will be able to analyze for multiple, user-defined targets from a single sample.
Furthermore, by taking advantage of the real-time PCR assay and detection, the Firefly Dx system can be adapted to measure altered gene expression levels such as those observed in endocrine diseases, radiation exposure, and cancer. Results can be immediately obtained and processed in situ via SMART phone interface (or personal computer) with a specialized, mobile application and cloud-based data sharing and storage.