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16 October, 2012 - 08:39 By Tony Quested

Angels back bug buster with £1.25m investment


New bug-busting technology from Cambridge UK was launched at a Swiss expo today and the innovator behind the breakthrough – Bactest – is set to close a £1.25 million investment round this month.

Bactest CEO Professor Annie Brooking said the round “has been dominated by business angels.”

The technology has been devised and is also manufactured in Cambridge.

Bactest’s ‘Speedy Breedy’ microbial detector was launched at Microscon in Olten, Switzerland. Brooking said the compact and portable device was the world’s most versatile portable microbial respirometer and is aimed at both research and industrial applications.

She said Speedy Breedy addressed a core market need – to detect the presence and behaviour of microbes in a variety of sample types and applications, quickly, portably and without the need for expensive equipment and specialist people.

Prof Brooking said: “Speedy Breedy is a clever little device that will change the way microbiologists, researchers and product safety teams work for good. Speedy Breedy has already received rave reviews and we’re delighted that from today, anyone can buy their own Speedy Breedy in a handful of clicks on the website.”

For product safety, Speedy Breedy enables the rapid detection of microbial contamination without the need to send samples to a lab for testing. It can be used in-situ, even on the production floor, and also provides an audit trail of measurements over time.

When connected to a PC, Speedy Breedy enables users to visualise microbial activity in near real time.

The device:-• Assists researchers to develop products and techniques where the presence or absence of bacteria needs to be understood, prevented or encouraged.• Tests for contamination in clean water applications• Tests for contamination in raw ingredients and positive release in food safety• Tests for contamination in pharmaceutical, household and hygiene products• Tests for contamination following wet strip of all forms of equipment• Tests for contamination in beer and beverages• Tests to ensure food and beverage packaging is sterile• Identifies the presence of septicaemia in veterinary applications• Tests potentially detrimental contaminants, growth and metabolic promoters or inhibitors

Speedy Breedy is a single (test versus control or aerobic plus anaerobic), or dual sample, two chamber instrument. It maintains culture conditions within purpose designed, disposable culture vessels.

Samples are inoculated into the culture vessel and Speedy Breedy closely controls growth conditions to a pre-determined protocol in order to facilitate rapid replication of cells or microbes.

To enable microbiologists to profile microbial growth, Speedy Breedy comes with a set of standard protocols – and users can also design their own and download them to Speedy Breedy.

Brooking explains: “We will be establishing an online lab on so that microbiologists can share protocols if they wish, enabling every user to get even more from their Speedy Breedy.”

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