At B2DG (www.bio2devicegroup.org) meeting, Dr. Priya Balachandran, Scientist at Life Technologies (Foster City) presented on Rapid Methods for Pathogen Detection. First, she traced the history of Life Technologies which was created from merger between Applied Biosystems and Invitrogen, in 2008. Besides its collaboration with the academia, Life Technologies, with a broad spectrum of customers and worldwide pool of 9000 employees, also has many applications across the biological spectrum, including human genome project, pharmaceutical research in drug development, in advancing personalized medicine, regenerative science, science behind forensic investigation, as well as in agricultural and environmental research.
Balachandran then focused her presentation on application of the technology, in solutions for food safety. The existing gold standard of detecting pathogens like Salmonella, Listeria, and E. coli is through growing bacteria in a plate. Despite being a highly reliable process, this is very lengthy and time consuming. Life Technologies offers integrated solution which includes solid automated detection method with sample prep, assays, real-time PCR (polymerase chain reaction) pathogen detection instruments, strain identification for testing to get to the source, and user friendly software. This technology is highly sensitive and greatly enhances the speed of detection. Salmonella can be detected within 18 hours, E. coli within 8 hours, and Listeria within 27 hours. Balachandran then explained in detail the technology underlying their approach. She answered questions from the audience members in the following Q&A.