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Selective Antibodies Limited Immuno Assay Novel Technology

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Dangerous substances to be tested in real-time

The increasing investment in counter-terror measures necessitates the development of novel technologies. An EU study developed an innovative test that can rapidly detect minute amounts of explosives.

Industrial Technologies icon Industrial Technologies

More than ever before, the EU faces increasingly complex security challenges. For this purpose, the European Security Research Innovation Forum (ESRIF) was established in 2007 to address the complex area of security research. The scope of the EU-funded SALIANT (Selective antibodies limited immuno assay novel technology) project was to develop a hand-held prototype device for the rapid, real time analysis of trace levels of explosives, chemicals and drugs. The idea was to design an easy-to-operate device that could be used by first responders at crime scenes and terrorist incidents. The project’s key innovation was the detection of small molecules by a lateral flow assay using antibodies for the detection of various molecules. This format is highly sensitive and simple to use and finds applications in the biomedical and biotechnology fields. SALIANT developed this proprietary technology platform for the detection of explosive targets. The detection system contains different antibodies attached to a silicon surface. The sample flows onto a surface and, following interaction with the antibody, it is detected by a laser light. The change in light pattern is proportional to the amount of target bound. Research and development activities focused on sampling and detection methods and technology integration. The consortium implemented a process for gathering end user requirements throughout the course of the project and feeding it back into the design. The resultant device prototype was finally tested in forensic laboratories and first responder scenarios. The main advantages of the SALIANT device are its ease of use, simplicity, sensitivity and accuracy. It is suitable for screening and monitoring purposes where there is a suspected presence of explosive. Furthermore, this technology could find potential uses in the testing of a wide range of substances such as drugs or other chemicals.


Explosive, security, device, drugs, lateral flow assay, antibodies, laser light

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