BGI Develops Inflatable Laboratory

BGI Develops Inflatable P2 Laboratory for Emergency COVID-19 Testing

BGI has developed a mobile, inflatable P2 level biosafety lab – the “Huo-Yan Air Laboratory” in collaboration with the company Etopia. The first air lab was set up at the National GeneBank, Shenzhen. The laboratory is in response to the requirement for nations to rapidly build-up screening as well as testing units.

According to Yin Ye, CEO, BGI Genomics, the Huo-Yan (referring ‘Fire Eye’) Air Lab’s layout makes use of a modular air dome framework. This ‘air lab’ can be carried by air as any other common products on any commercial passenger plane, as well as can be rapidly constructed and also set up locally to support the testing and detection capabilities of countries around the world. This will consequently permit health authorities to control the pandemic at an earlier phase.

BGI had already developed a P3 level biosafety lab utilizing an inflatable structure during the Ebola outbreak in West Africa in 2014 and the Huo-Yan was developed based upon that experience. The air lab comprises of 5 significant areas for sample collection, sample reception, sample preparation, amplification, and reagent preparation.

The Air Laboratory is furnished with auxiliary conversion area comprising

of airlock conversion, clinical waste exhaust system, integrated washroom, Class II biological safety cabinets, genetics sequencers, high-performance servers, automated nucleic acid preparation tools, qPCR instruments, antibody detection equipment, and various other SARS-CoV-2 nucleic acid detection devices. The air lab is developed with a High-Efficiency Particulate Air Filter (HEPA) and a fresh air system to independently filter and manage the air entering and exiting the air in each area. This air lab makes sure that the air in each area does not contaminate with each other and simultaneously assures that outward emissions are properly and securely filtered according to the standards for biological safety in virus detection and gene amplification labs.

The CEO, BGI Genomics said, “The Huo-Yan Air Lab completely satisfies the needs of global biosafety requirements and industry specifications.”


Author: Sruthi S