Diagnostics company NanoLogix has made a technological breakthrough with the development of a long-term storage packaging solution for century-old Petri plates used in bacteria detection.

Nitrogen-charged FlatPack Petri plates have been proven to store the bacterium bacillus anthracis, which causes Anthrax, at room temperature for six months.

The nationally known competitor’s product delivered degraded results after just two months.

NanoLogix said the development may be the "biggest single improvement" to Petri dish-based technology in decades.

Tests also demonstrated a reduced time of 14 hours for the detection of Anthrax with NanoLogix FlatPack, compared with 24 hours using the competitor Tryptic Soy Agar (TSA).

After four months at room temperature, the agar nutrient in TSA Petri plates had dried out and was unusable for detection, while NanoLogix’s Petri plates provided identical results to new plates, the third-party lab undertaking the tests said.

Under current standards, TSA petri plates remain usable for only three months in cold storage – that is, 2°C to 8°C, or 36°F to 46°F, according to NanoLogix.

The company’s testing process, a follow-up to the one-year cold storage tests for NanoLogix TSA that were completed in 2012, will continue for another six months.

Image: A Petri dish with bacterial colonies on an agar-based growth medium.