NanoLogix' Barnhizer accelerates the rapid detection “revolution”

April 1, 2011
“The rise of rapid diagnostics is having a “revolutionary” effect on healthcare systems, as well as other industries.”

Bret T. Barnhizer


CEO and President,
Hubbard, OH,
Management and project-management services to
Chevron, BP, Unocal, Occidental Petroleum,
and others in the U.S., Europe, Africa, and Asia,


Youngstown State University,
Youngstown, OH,
University of Colorado,


Travel, photography, target shooting, guitar,
working with church organizations to import
Russian Christmas ornaments for sale — with proceeds used
to help make capital improvements at Russian orphanages.

Stick together.

As infantry-combat medics in the U.S. Army during the Vietnam War, John Chatterton and I both learned the value of having someone to depend upon in serious situations. After fending off an attempted company takeover, I turned to three very qualified people I knew I could trust. John was one of the first to accept the invitation and now serves as one of the company directors.


We operate on three simple tenets: 1) Lead by example. We are all in this together. When we began construction on our production facility, the “we” consisted of me and two shareholders. Demolishing the old interior and framing a new one together formed the basis of a hands-on process that carried forward. 2) Think outside the box. Along with team brainstorming sessions to consider alternative methods of production and technology uses, a few of us seem to have a natural lateral-logic process that has resulted in associations with organizations that would normally be out of the realm of consideration for similar-sized companies. 3) Empower talent. One example is the loose structure of our office administrative staff; for the most part, everyone has a high level of cross-training and little focus on formal titles, so they can serve wherever the need exists and where their talents lie.

“Louis Pasteur moment.”

The rise of rapid diagnostics is having a “revolutionary” effect on healthcare systems, as well as other industries. Environmental, healthcare, bio-defense, and industrial sectors all see rapid detection of microorganisms as monumentally significant to improving health and public safety. Waiting days to receive live-bacteria results is a critical pain point, slowing each sector down in some way. When you need to know if a microorganism is present and alive in a sample, time matters. As an example, physicians at the University of Texas Health Science Center-Houston have called the ability to detect Group B Strep (GBS) in four to six hours a “Louis Pasteur moment.” Currently, we have Quick-Test kits (which feature variants on our BioNanoFilter technology) available for GBS, E coli, Salmonella, and Listeria. The BioNanoPore test kit is a sandwiched-membrane culture technology that provides the ability to see live-cell bacterial growth faster than other methods. The BioNanoFilter test kit provides the ability to specifically identify those bacteria detected within minutes of initial detection. In the coming year, we also look forward to providing test kits for anthrax, bubonic plague, and others.

The future of labs.

The industry is improving detection in a variety of ways, and advances in technology and testing are taking laboratories in two directions. Depending on the populations they serve, some advancements might make labs more specialized, while others (like ours) are making live-cell bacterial detection simpler and less expensive. Many labs do not have the luxury of spending time and money on specialized equipment or training, so inexpensive tests that both simplify and accelerate lab operations serve them well. This means hospitals can do more of their own lab work in house. Result times of just a few hours also mean many tests can be done within the same shift, reducing the errors that can occur when tests are handed off to a new set of technicians midstream, and faster results means they can to do more tests in a shorter period of time.