MBio Diagnostics has announced that it has received funding from the US National Science Foundation (NSF) to advance its water toxin testing technology. The grant, titled “Portable System for Detection of Harmful Algal Bloom Toxins in Freshwater and Marine Environments,” will help advance the development and commercialization of MBio’s unique platform. MBio’s Array System enables users in the field to perform laboratory-quality cyanotoxin testing to help protect drinking water, monitor commercial food resources, and provide critical data for ecosystems management.
Harmful algal blooms in the United States and global freshwater and marine environments are increasing in frequency and duration. Algal blooms constitute a growing public health threat while also carrying substantial economic, ecologic, and food supply implications. A case in point is the devastating algae bloom currently affecting coastal Florida. Florida Governor Rick Scott declared a state of emergency on June 29 in Martin and St. Lucie Counties following the presence of algal blooms in local waterways. The Executive Order will allow state and local governmental agencies to take swift action to mitigate the spread of algal blooms in the St. Lucie and Caloosahatchee estuaries. In recent years, toxic algal blooms have shut down the water supply for the city of Toledo, and closed shellfish beds in the Pacific Northwest.
Working with a network of domestic and international collaborators, MBio has demonstrated a unique, portable testing platform that delivers a panel of freshwater and marine toxin test results in a matter of minutes in an easy-to-use format. The platform utilizes MBio’s proprietary LightDeck® technology, which enables simple, multiplex testing in a compact system. According to MBio Diagnostics CTO Michael Lochhead, “the MBio water toxin technology has been demonstrated by researchers through multiple validation studies now published in the scientific literature. The NSF award provides critical resources to help move this important technology to commercial product.”