Skip to Content
Find More Like This
Return to Search

The µChemLabTM: Bio Detector

Sandia National Laboratories

Contact SNL About This Technology

Second-generation biotoxin detection system.
Second-generation biotoxin detection system.

Technology Marketing SummarySandia National Laboratories has developed a series of compact, hand-held detection systems that place the capability of a fully functional chemistry laboratory at the fingertips of a trained field operator. Sandia's chemical analysis system can rapidly detect and analyze toxic agents such as bacteria, viruses, and protozoa.

The µChemLabTM was designed, demonstrated, and tested by Sandia researchers over several years. The systems were initially developed for homeland security, defense applications, war fighters, and first responders. A variety of applications and near-term commercialization opportunities now exist in markets such as air and water quality, medical diagnostics, biotechnology, and industrial process control.DescriptionThe µChemLabTM Bio Detector is a portable device for determining the presence of a target analyte and enabling fast microfluidic separations of biological samples with high sensitivity. The device miniaturizes bench-scale analyses using fabricated microchannels in a hand-held, low-power device. Many different separations can be run simultaneously, and identification of the compound of interest is determined from unique retention-time signatures.

Designed for the rapid detection of proteins, the µChemLabTM has been used to identify biotoxins such as ricin, staphylococcal enterotoxin B, and botulinum toxin; its capability has been extended in combination with innovative, automated sample preparation technology to enable the identification of viruses and bacteria. Parallel analysis channels provide highly accurate detection at nanomolar sensitivites with a low false alarm probability.
  • Hand-portable
  • Low power consumption
  • Rapid analyses (5 to 10 minutes)
  • Highly accurate detection at nanomolar sensitivities
  • Low false alarm rate
Applications and Industries
  • Identification of biotoxins such as ricin, staphylococcal enterotoxin B, and botulinum toxin
  • Identification of viruses and bacteria
  • Air and water quality testing, medical diagnostics, biotechnology, and industrial process control
  • Full amenability to DNA-based separations for sizing or fragment detection
The µChemLabTM was used for bioagent detection, for example, in the BioBriefcase program.
More InformationFor more information:
Patents and Patent Applications
ID Number
Title and Abstract
Primary Lab
Patent 7,452,507
Portable apparatus for separating sample and detecting target analytes
Portable devices and methods for determining the presence of a target analyte using a portable device are provided. The portable device is preferably hand-held. A sample is injected to the portable device. A microfluidic separation is performed within the portable device and at least one separated component detected by a detection module within the portable device, in embodiments of the invention. A target analyte is identified, based on the separated component, and the presence of the target analyte is indicated on an output interface of the portable device, in accordance with embodiments of the invention.
Sandia National Laboratories 11/18/2008
Technology Status
Technology IDDevelopment StageAvailabilityPublishedLast Updated
SD# 8412.1, SD# 8412.2PrototypeAvailable09/29/201101/15/2013

Contact SNL About This Technology

To: Technology Inquiries<>