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Protecting Us From Explosive, Chemical and Bio Hazard Threats

GBD assisted the MOD with the development of the IMASS ‘Integrated Multiplex Assay and Sampling System’ Device a powerful new innovation in sample collection and testing, especially suitable for ‘white powder’ incidents. Surfaces, powders or liquids can be sampled directly and eight assay strips are run simultaneously from the one sample.

With current devices there are a number of different steps and three or four components required to separately manipulate the sample. Wearing thick PPE gloves and under stress makes this very difficult to achieve. To operate the Integrated Multiplex Assay and Sampling System (IMASS), the user applies the small wet sponge at the tip of the device to the suspect substance and then screws on a lid, which squeezes the liquid containing the sample through a filter and into a test chamber. Here it makes contact with test strips and only a few seconds later if a specific substance is present in the sample a coloured line will appear on the test strip. This makes the device simple enough to be used without expert training.

Key Design Objectives

- Utilize MOD’s patented technology.

- MOD were looking for a handheld device that could sample and detect a range of hazardous substances and explosives at the same time in order to assist front line troops and counter-terrorism personnel.

- To make the test simple to use in what is a very stressful situation.

- A device capable of linking a test result with a sealed sample that could be contained for further laboratory analysis

Design Development

- IMASS does not need electricity and instead uses a hand-operated mechanism to collect and process samples.

- Size the device to allow up to eight assay strips and enable them to run simultaneously from one sample to detect the presence of a specific     explosive, chemical or biological substance.

- For the first time integrate sampling with detection in a single disposable device.

- Material selection.

- Mechanism part design and dimensional control.

- Design for manufacture.

Product Solution

- The ergonomic design features make it particularly suitable for bio-detection in challenging front line environments

- Ease of use (particularly when wearing full Personal Protection Equipment)

-Increased speed to results

- Increase in sampling area

- Robustness capable of withstanding a 95Kg load

- Sample containment and recovery for future laboratory testing

- Device can be decontaminated after sampling

- No power requirements

- Low training burden

- Low cost



Levels of interest have been high in overseas markets, including the USA and first responders in the forensic and security sectors in the UK and abroad will soon be using IMASS.