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Crystal Diagnotics helps pioneer liquid crystal biosensors; new jobs in sight

It can take as long as 24 hours to detect toxins (ranging from E-coli to anthrax) and the people affected could be long gone by the time lab technicians and health departments figure it out. Thanks to new technology, that may all change.

Crystal Diagnostics with its parent company Pathogen Systems Inc. is working to develop liquid crystal biosensors to detect pathogens in real-time, instead of a day.

The detection device jointly invented by researchers at Kent State University and the Northeastern Ohio Universities Colleges of Medicine and Pharmacy in Rootstown combines both liquid crystal technology and antibody research to find harmful pathogens.

Work at the Crystal Diagnostics Applied Research Laboratory on the campus of NEOUCOM is ongoing. And plans are in motion to move into Centennial Park at KSU for manufacturing the device.

As the project grows, so will the local workforce.

Walter E. Horton Jr., NEOUCOM's vice president for research, said there are a total of 15 full-time positions at Crystal Diagnostics, and that when the device goes "live" there could be a dozen jobs added immediately.

"We see this as one of the innovation success in Ohio," says Horton, who also oversees the millions of dollars the company has received from the Ohio Third Frontier initiative in the last two years. "We have two public entities Kent State and NEOUCOM working together. This is exactly the direction this state wants to go."

"This company is based in Colorado, but (Pathogen Systems) saw a real benefit of moving to Northeast Ohio, because of the support of the Third Frontier and because of the regional success in terms of biomedical innovation," he says.

Source: Walter E. Horton Jr.
Writer: hiVelocity staff

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