Overview of IBI's rapid testing of analytes using a genetically engineered biosensor
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IBI Environmental Group


Introducing BioFlash®, a rapid diagnostic system for the ultra-sensitive detection of pathogens.

Technology Overview:

The BioFlash® system is based on the CANARY® (Cellular Analysis and Notification of Antigen Risks and Yields) technology, a revolutionary diagnostic technology developed by the scientists at Massachusetts Institute of Technology and recently published in Science. BioFlash® delivers extremely rapid detection of pathogens at previously unseen levels of sensitivity and specificity. Accurate results can be obtained in less than 3 minutes by non-expert users.

FIG. 1 — CANARY® Sensor Concept

The patented, self-contained system consists of engineered biosensors expressing membrane bound, pathogen-specific antibodies and a calcium sensitive bioluminescent molecule. Cross-linking of the antibodies by even minute amounts of the specific pathogen leads to elevation of intracellular calcium and light emission (FIG.1). The amplified light output is detected using an easy-to-use luminometer.

Click here to view assay operation using the CANARY® technology


- Ultra-sensitive detection of pathogens in less than 3 minutes.
- Combination of speed and sensitivity unmatched by current methods.


- Simple protocol requiring minimal instrumentation and training.


- Validated high-fidelity detection of pathogens.
- PCR-like signal amplification and sensitivity.

The combination of speed and sensitivity of the BioFlash® system is unmatched by other methods such as immunoassays and PCR. Rapid immunoassays require at least 15 minutes, but have a much higher limit of detection. Ultra-fast PCR still requires at least 30 minutes of sample preparation, notwithstanding PCR contamination issues. For example, the BioFlash® system offers detection down to 50 colony forming units (cfu) of pathogenic Escherichia coli O157:H7 without cross-reaction with normal E. coli strains (FIG.2). These results compare very favorably with publications describing the use of PCR to detect bacteria in food (LOD of 10-10,000 cfu/g without overnight culture as an enrichment step).

BioFlash Readout
FIG. 2 — BioFlash® Readout


Automatic sample collection and analysis:

The BioFlash-E™ biological aerosol collection and analysis is a very rapid process (FIG. 3) and is accomplished in less than 3 minutes.

FIG. 3 — Automated assay process for biological aerosol samples



The BioFlash-E™ Biological Identifier is a portable device occupying approximately one cubic foot and is simple to use.

BioFlash Biological Detector
FIG. 4 — The BioFlash-E™ Biological Identifier

Click here for more product information

Related Publications:

Rider et al. (2003). B Cell-based sensor for rapid identification of pathogens. Science, 301:213-215.

Rowe et al. (1999). Array biosensor for simultaneous identification of bacterial, viral, and protein analytes. Anal. Chem., 71: 3846-3852.

Belgrader et al. (2003). A reusable flow-through polymerase chain reaction instrument for the continuous monitoring of infectious biological agents. Anal. Chem., 75: 3446-3450.

Pourahmadi et al. (2000). Toward a rapid, integrated, and fully automated DNA diagnostic assay for chlamydia trachomatis and neisseria gonorrhea Clin. Chem., 46: 1511-1513.

— For research use only. Not for use in diagnostic procedures. —

For a copy of our technical overview brochure, please click here


The new symbol for unmatched speed and sensitivity in pathogen detection.


Innovative Biosensors, Inc.
15601 Crabbs Branch Way
Rockville, MD 20855


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