ASU researchers pursue radiation exposure test

A BARDA-funded program is set to enter the next phase of a research project to develop a test that could quickly and easily identify whether a person had been exposed to dangerous levels of radiation following a nuclear incident. There are currently no FDA-approved high-throughput tests for this purpose.

Arizona State University is taking the lead on the multi-institutional project; researchers there are developing a high-throughput system that can analyze many blood samples at once. The test will employ a biomarker that indicates how much radiation the body has absorbed. It's all part of a $35.44 million project to develop testing capabilities in the event that a large population is exposed to radiation.

"As Japan's tsunami and resulting nuclear crisis has demonstrated, there is an urgent societal need to rapidly assess an at risk population's exposure to radiation," lead investigator Lee Cheatham, deputy director of the Biodesign Institute, told "Our ultimate goal is to develop a diagnostic system that would ensure that medical responders have the information necessary to provide appropriate medical treatment and ensure human health and safety."

- read the report for more