If cost is comparable, I can see most companies pulling the trigger if the test is less than a minute. I say a minute because if one is doing multiples swab sites don't they normally progress to the next sample site while the current sample is being tested? At least one would think so...this way, it mitigates any lost time for the reader to read the sample.
If you make the cost comparable to ATP and 1 minute or less on the results time I would buy it right now. Even if it was up to a few minutes on test time I would still buy it...why? Because it is a MUCH MORE valuable tool, and I could always buy multiple readers to speed up the sampling and testing time.
Of course...anything you can do to improve the time and keep a good low level of detection is the greatest achievement.
I am glad to hear that you find the data output to be valuable, this also seem to be the general perception when we have talked to industry experts. However, our current system is a bench top device that can do the measurement in 5 minutes, which some beta customers also find very interesting, but so far systems have only been sold to research projects and "investigative" work (i.e. do a thorough analysis of where critical control points might be). The cost pr. sample for the current system is about 5-8x higher than ATP samples, so it is not priced to be part of routine operations.
the system could have also another advantage. I am working in a company, where we can only do dry cleaning. So product rest may be still there. As ATP is showing up all ATP it has found, it is showing numbers, where we can't differ between high amount of bacteria or product rests detected. So if your system can differ between bacteria and e.g. plant cells, it could be a faster tool for us.
Is it also planned to do different testing, not only tpc, perhaps also E.coli, Salmonellae ...? That would also give a more detailed and valuable view.
By the way, can you tell anything about the mechanism of detection?
To be honest it depends on how much plant residue you might have - if the surface is very dirty our system will clog. We do have tips and tricks to how you can run dirty samples though, simply pre-filter them through a 30-40 µm filter and you should be good to go. But the system definitely differentiates bacteria from plant cells (although we do not count the plant cells as they are too large to entire the measuring section of the device).
Differentiation between different bacteria is in the works, but still at very early research stage. For now we only do total bacteria counts. Our method is non-destructive, so if you run a sample that has high counts then you can analyze it with a traditional e. coli/salmonella agar plate immediately after.
The detection mechanism is impedance flow cytometry. We have a small flow cell with electrodes whereon we measure a current. When a particle or bacteria crosses the electrodes we can immediately detect a unique change in current (at different frequencies), which can be used to identify the electrical properties of the particle. A bacteria is quite unique in its electrical composition when you consider cell membrane, cytoplasm, size, etc., and this is how we can differentiate bacteria from other particles in real-time. We need measurement time to establish statistical significance/evidence. Truthfully it is an advancement to the coulter-counter principle, where we have solved some pretty challenging issues within sample handling and measuring/differentiating bacteria in huge unknown matrices.
The name of the game is Validation. Some actual data or links to relevant publications might be useful.
I found yr criterion in Post4 rather disturbing from a safety POV -
(Perhaps you meant "and/or".)
Truthfully the solid white paper data we have for our current system is... not impressive. We have gathered quite a lot of data over the past 3 years from different experiments, but we have also done a million iterations on the product/tech, so we have postponed doing the huge third-party validation study until the product exits its prototype phase - mainly due to cost considerations. As previously mentioned the systems have only been sold to research projects and other detective work, so the sales effort often involves going meticulously through the lab data we have and do live demos (it is real-time after all). Of course we have simulated the validation studies in-house, and in other test environments, and everything looks great, but you will have to take my word for it for now. I hope this is OK since I am not trying to sell you or anyone else on this board the tech or a unit, I am just trying to get some input on what people would think about a system that measures total bacteria, is cost competitive to ATP, but slightly slower in measurement time!
For publications on the tech (impedance flow cytometry), you will quickly find that it has mostly been used to detect blood cells, which is easier than detecting bacteria because they are much larger. However, one article that shows an impedance system is used to detecting single bacteria is found here: http://pubs.rsc.org/...6G#!divAbstract. I think I have my name on one article in literature, but we only measured 0.5 µm, 1 µm and 2 µm particles with that system. We haven't published anything on the tech as a company because we do not want to give away any edge before we are able to fully support a product launch and gain a head start on competitors. There are currently no published articles on using impedance flow cytometry in a hygiene and cleaning validation setting, but you can expect that to change in 2018!
And you are entirely correct, I meant and/or. :)