AIHS Funded Team Develops Chip to Improve E.Coli Testing in Meat
Jul. 28, 2013
(Edmonton, Alberta) July 28, 2013 – Dr. Linda Pilarski and her research team, most recently funded by an AIHS Interdisciplinary Team Grant, have developed a testing device aimed at making the meat people buy and consume safer.
The chip, about the size of a small domino, is designed to detect E.coli in meat during processing. With simple training, an on-site user can place a meat sample into the device, which then produces results in under an hour. The novel chip promises to be faster, cheaper and easier to use than current technologies.
Originally, the chip was intended to detect cancer and sexually transmitted diseases, but with time, it morphed into a device that could also test and identify the presence of E.coli in meat. For Dr. Pilarski, the chip development is a project that is 15 years in the making.
The $5M invested by AIHS into the chip technology has been instrumental to its development and success,” says Dr. Pilarski.
Last week, Dr. Pilarski and her team received $500,000 in new funding from Genome Canada and partners, Alberta Livestock and Meat Agency, Alberta Innovates – Bio Solutions, Genome Alberta, Genome Quebec, and the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food, and Rural Affairs to support their project targeting the rapid sampling and detection of E.coli in meat.
Dr. Pilarski is a professor in the Department of Oncology at the University of Alberta and Scientific Director of the Alberta Innovates – Health Solutions Interdisciplinary Team Microfluidics.
Alberta Innovates – Health Solutions (AIHS) is the province’s leading health research and innovation agency. We support top-quality, internationally competitive activity across all pillars of health research and innovation. Our investments in research are intended to further understanding of health and disease, and to produce results that will make a difference to the health, health system and wellbeing of Albertans and people around the world.