News | Jan 2, 2019

Food safety expert licenses sonic swab from Army

News Article Image of Food safety expert licenses sonic swab from Army

In a bid to expand their market presence in the food safety tech, Seattle-based Microbiologique has secured an exclusive patent license agreement from the U.S. Army, the company announced Wednesday.

The makings of an agreement were made public on October 18 after Microbiologique founder Dr. Mansour Samadpour submitted an exclusive license application for U.S. Patent 8,329,461, which was issued to the Army in 2012.

The patented technology, a handheld sonicating swabbing for collecting microorganisms living on kitchen surfaces, was invented by Patrick Marek and Joshua Magnone at the U.S. Army’s Natick Soldier Research, Development, and Engineering Center (NSRDEC) in Massachusetts.

While appearing much like a sonic toothbrush, the battery-powered swabber contains a vacuum function for collecting pathogens like E. coli, salmonella, and listeria.

Army sonic scrubber
Conceptual illustration of the Army’s sonicating swab.

Samadpour is the president of the Institute for Environmental Health (IEH) Laboratories & Consulting Group, a firm well known in the food supply industry that has previously brought similar tools to market.

The company’s intellectual property portfolio of related technologies contains 46 patents and patent applications.

Samadpour and Magnone met at a food safety conference in July 2018, which led to the agreement.

“It’s been a pleasure meeting the Army’s researchers to discuss food safety protocols,” Samadpour said. “The technology will be of use in the early detection of pathogens before contamination can grow.”

Sheri Mennillo and Jeff DiTullio, from the Office of Research and Technology Applications at NSRDEC, negotiated the royalty-bearing license agreement. TechLink’s Austin Leach provided support.

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