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Phase III Contact for Research Irradiators

2 October 2018

Stellarray, Inc. announced it has received a contract award from the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) to complete development of its Modular & Addressable Research Irradiators (MARI) and thereby help eliminate the need for dangerous radioactive isotopes. The 24-month contract is for Phase III of the small business innovation research and development project the company began for NNSA in 2015 to develop these irradiators. The objective of Phase III is to finish testing the x-ray sources, deploy beta test units to university research irradiator users and complete system regulatory testing.

Cell, tissue and other biological subjects are irradiated in a diverse range of research fields, including cancer development and therapy, immunology, DNA damage and repair, drug development and genetics. Many irradiators use radioactive cesium-137, identified by the U.S. National Academy of Sciences as the single most worrisome radioactive isotope since it is the most likely material for a “dirty bomb.” Stellarray is developing three types of research irradiators to replace cesium-137. One is designed for high dose rate studies, one is for high energy and another is for digital addressing of small samples in standard “micro-well plates”, a key tool in today’s automated laboratories. All three irradiators use Stellarray’s patented Flat Panel X-ray Source (FPXS), a new kind of x-ray source that is more powerful, efficient, compact and versatile than the classical x-ray tube.

Mark Eaton, CEO of Stellarray, said “Blood transfusion and research applications account for 99% of all the cesium activity in the U.S., so we can largely eliminate the security risk from this isotope by delivering attractive alternatives to these user communities.”

Stellarray develops and manufactures FPXS and the irradiators according to ISO 13485 medical device standards in a fully-equipped research and manufacturing facility in north Austin. The company is also developing digital “smart x-ray sources” for next generation computed tomography and micro/nano-focus x-ray sources for applications such as x-ray microscopy. For further information please contact info@stellar-ray.com.