PositiveID Corp, Delray Beach, Fla, recently announced that it has completed a first round of prototype testing for its Firefly Dx handheld real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) pathogen detection system. According to the company, the system has delivered positive PCR results within 20 minutes.

Performed at standard laboratory volumes, testing achieved results equivalent to lab-based PCR instruments, which can take hours to perform the same PCR process. With the confirmatory results of the completed PCR chip design, the company is now in the next phase of testing to encompass optimization and a broader spectrum of tests.

“Having recently completed our Firefly Dx breadboard prototype, these initial positive results of our new PCR chip—which could fundamentally change the real-time PCR industry—are very encouraging,” says William J. Caragol, chairman and CEO of PositiveID. “These test results also validate our approach covered in the PCR chip patent application we just filed. Our Firefly Dx testing and development continues to progress on schedule.”

Targeting the global PCR market, Firefly Dx is designed to provide real-time, accurate diagnostic results in a handheld device, thereby leading to treatment scenarios at the point of need. Applications include point-of-need monitoring of pathogenic outbreaks, such as Ebola and influenza.