Sentinel Cell

Case ID:

Sentry Cell (Macrophage Hazardous Material Detection)  

WSU Tech#: 10-991

Technology Summary:

This technology is designed around an isolated cell system for the detection of an energetic material comprising of an isolated stationary macrophage cell isolated from a vestibular labyrinth of a Opsanus sp.  This macrophage cell is plated in culture and when contacting a substrate it is sensitive to, the cell said cell exhibiting a set of cellular responses characteristic of and specific to said energetic material.  Thus it not only detects the presence of an energetic material, it can be used to rapidly specifically identify that material as well.  Examples include: 1,3,5-trinitro-1,3,5-triazacyclohexane,  2,2-bis(hydroxymethyl)l,3-propanediol, 1,3,5,7-tetranitro-l ,3,5, 7-tetrazocane, 2,4,6-trinitrotoluene, C4, Semtex Al, 1,2,3-trinitroxypropane, and 2,3- dimethyl-2,3 ,-dinitrobutane, etc.

Benefit Analysis:


According to the Homeland Security Research report, the multibillion dollar Explosives Trace Detection (ETD) market is to undergo an accelerated growth period driven by:


·         No competitive explosives and narcotics trace detection modality on the horizon

·         Oil-gas industry security

·         Chinas massive investments in new airports and public security

·         The turmoil in the Arab world

·         The Indian Government counter terror investments

·         Scheduled US legislation enforcing 100% cargo screening on all passenger flights.


They forecast that, with the 2013-2020 ETD market (including systems sales, service, consumables and upgrades) will present multi-billion dollar business opportunities growing at a CAGR of 14%.  In 2013, it was estimated that the total market .


Market  pressure is for  innovative detectors that are, small, easy to use,  affordable and can integrate into unmanned ground vehicles.  The growth of the market is related to Army procurement.  Many well-known explosive detection techniques such as mass spectrometry and chromatography rely on close-contact sampling of surface residues or explosive vapors.  Effective detection of explosive materials should be able to detect explosives in both close-contact and standoff (tens of meters) configurations.  It is the standoff configuration that can be difficult.  Laser detection can be difficult because there isn’t an accumulation of explosive residue or vapor and atmospheric components (namely oxygen and nitrogen) can interfere with detection.  It is believed that this technology offers a highly sensitive detection system that can get over a number of obstacles associated with other technologies.


Stage of Development: Available


Patent Status:


US Utility Patent Application


Licensing Opportunity:

WSU is looking for commercial partners interested in furthering the validation of this technology and bringing the technology to market.  The inventors would be open to assist in the generation of SBIR/STTR grants to fund the further development of this technology.

Contact for Further Information:  

 Frank Urban, MS, CBA, BA.   email:   Phone (mobile): (734) 355-0730

Patent Information:
For Information, Contact:
Nicole Grynaviski
Commercialization Principal
Wayne State University
Robert Silver
Research Tool