Navy researchers initially developed the LASI technology to meet the need for more rapid diagnostic solutions that identify biowarfare threats to U.S. military personnel. This technology could prove beneficial to research and development programs in vaccine and drug discovery, cell therapy, infectious disease, and cancer diagnostics and treatment.
Inspired by the need for sensitive, selective, automated and cost-effective clinical and research instruments that can sort cell streams for the detection of pathogens and disease, the LASI technology utilizes a combination of advanced optics and microfluidics to help researchers characterize and sort individual cells.
LASI has the noteworthy feature of not requiring the addition of antibody or genetic labels typically used to tag cells pre-assay. This is a significant advance over similar instrument technologies. By eliminating the need to use specific antibodies for cell labelling, LASI reduces sample preparation time and lowers cost per test.
“Technology transfer enables us at the federal labs to provide the opportunity for the warfighter to have access to such capabilities at a lower cost,” McKinney said. “It also provides unique technologies and expertise that aren’t available anywhere else to businesses looking to provide products and services to the public.”
The LASI technology, patented by Dr. Sean J. Hart, Dr. Colin G. Hebert and Alex Terray of NRL’s Chemistry Division, was transferred to LumaCyte, LLC., in March 2014. LumaCyte, LLC., commercialized the technology to launch their RadianceTM system that allows users to identify new or changed cell phenotypes in the absence of antibody based labeling.
About the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory
NRL is a scientific and engineering command dedicated to research that drives innovative advances for the Navy and Marine Corps from the seafloor to space and in the information domain. NRL headquarters is located in Washington, D.C., with major field sites in Stennis Space Center, Mississippi, Key West, Florida, and Monterey, California, and employs approximately 2,500 civilian scientists, engineers and support personnel.