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Purdue University and Micro Imaging Technology Collaborate on Rapid Detection of Pathogens

Micro Imaging Technology, Inc. announced today a strategic research collaboration with Purdue University to prove the concept of faster, cheaper, and easier pathogen testing for Listeria and Listeria monocytogenes in foods using laser light scattering. The partnership pairs similar laser light scattering technologies developed independently by each contributor to demonstrate the speed and accuracy of using non-biological methods to provide a simple, rapid, and cost-effective solution to food pathogen testing.

Dr. Arun Bhunia, BVSc, PhD, Professor of Food Microbiology at the Purdue University Department of Food Science, will direct the Purdue portion of the research together with Dr. Euiwon Bae, a mechanical engineer, at his facilities in West Lafayette, IN. Prof. Bhunia received his Ph.D. in Food Microbiology at the University of Wyoming. A recent recipient of Purdue's Outstanding Graduate Educator (College of Agriculture), Dr. Bhunia's research has focused on the development of novel detection and diagnostic tools for food borne pathogens employing optical and electrical biosensors, including light scattering based sensors. Dr. Bhunia's group developed Purdue's BARDOT (Bacterial Rapid Detection using Optical scattering Technology,) a colony-based bacterial screening system that very rapidly scans and detects pathogens on culture plates.

Micro Imaging Technology's Chief Scientist, Dr. David Haavig, is the Program Director of the effort and also will lead MIT's efforts in the collaboration. Coincidentally, he received his Ph.D. in Physics from Purdue University in 1983. Dr. Haavig was instrumental in developing the MIT 1000, a bacterial cell based identification system that can identify pathogenic bacteria in three (3) minutes (average) at significant cost savings per test. "The synergy of these two systems for independent detection (BARDOT) and confirmation (MIT 1000) of the presence of pathogens in food is fantastic. This is a win-win program," Dr. Haavig remarked. "It benefits MIT, Purdue and its students, as well as the entirety of the food industry and consumers worldwide. We cannot be more pleased to be working with Dr. Bhunia and his staff."

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