Brief Technology Overview
Ionian’s patented technology is a novel rapid isothermal approach to nucleic acid amplification and detection, first described in a 2003 PNAS paper by Ionian’s founder, Dr. David Galas. The technology offers a substantial competitive advantage in the expanding market of nucleic acid amplification, detection and analysis. The proprietary technology is based on the very rapid detection of small DNA or RNA fragments generated directly from the target nucleic acid. The amplification products can be detected by a variety of standard methods, including LC-MS, real-time fluorescence, and capillary electrophoresis detection. Additional proprietary analysis methods are being developed, including a simple economical easy to use dipstick technology which will broaden the potential applications of these assays systems.
The important features of Ionian’s technology are its economy, ease of use, rapid results, and flexible read-out capability. The technology can be used to detect any DNA or RNA targets. Importantly, for the detection of RNA targets, no separate cDNA synthesis step is necessary. With its powerful combination of high accuracy, low costs, and flexible readout options, Ionian's major amplification technology, NEAR, will play an important role in the future of nucleic acid testing in Healthcare, Veterinary, Agricultural and Food Safety.
Ionian has developed its proprietary rapid nucleic acid technology for the detection of biothreat organisms in several product development contracts with the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). The assay systems being developed by Ionian and its subcontractors will provide 'detect-to-protect' and 'detect-to-warn' biothreat detection capabilities. A presentation of the DARPA-funded program denoted HISSS (Handheld Isothermal Silver Standard Sensor) is available as a PDF file. The goal of the HISSS program is to develop a handheld sensor that is capable of identifying biothreat agents across the entire threat spectrum, including bacteria, viruses and toxins.