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Motorola biochip to fight super bugs

Diagnostic chip will speed medical detection process

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Motorola is leading a development team working on a biochip that will form the basis of a machine used in the fight against bacterial super bugs. With a budget of $9 million, the three year project brings Motorola together with Arizona State University and CFD Research. Motorola will take charge of chip development and production. If successful, the chip will be used in a microfluidics device which will enable medical clinicians to quickly diagnose bacteria – a process which currently can be both expensive and time consuming. The planned device will be plastic and disposable. It will eliminate the need to send swabs and samples to laboratories for testing, instead bacterial profiling will be carried out on the spot. The market for such equipment is estimated to reach $1.3 billion next year. Jim Prendergast, Motorola vice president, said: "The incidence of life-threatening bacterial infections has been rising in recent years, along with increases in the severity and drug-resistance of bacteria." The device is predicted to have uses outside the traditional medical sphere, with applications in food production being a natural progression for its ease of use and portability. ®

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