Emerging and Enabling Technologies in Biodefense

  • Kavita M. BergerEmail author


The emergence of new biotechnologies provides great promise for biodefense, especially for key objectives of biosurveillance and early warning, microbial forensics, risk and threat assessment, horizon scanning in biotechnology, and medical countermeasure (MCM) development, scale-up, and delivery. Understanding and leveraging the newly developed capabilities afforded by emerging biotechnologies require knowledge about cutting-edge research and its real or proposed application(s), the process through which biotechnologies advance, and the educational and research infrastructure that promotes multi-disciplinary science. Innovation in research and technology development are driven by sector-specific needs and the convergence of the physical, chemical, material, computer, engineering, and/or life sciences. Biotechnologies developed for other sectors could be applied to biodefense, especially if the individuals involved are able to innovate in concept design and development. Of all biodefense objectives, biosurveillance seems to have reaped the most benefit from emerging biotechnologies, specifically the integration and analysis of diverse clinical, biological, demographic, and other relevant data. More recently, scientists have begun applying synthetic biology, genomics, and microfluidics to the development of new products and platforms for MCMs. Unlike these objectives, investments in microbial forensics have been few, limiting its ability to harness biotechnology advances for collecting and analyzing data. Looking to the future, emerging biotechnologies can provide new opportunities for enhancing biodefense by addressing capability gaps.


Emerging biotechnologies Biodefense Convergence science Multi-disciplinary science Benefit Workforce Medical countermeasures Biosurveillance Infectious disease modeling Microbial forensics 


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Gryphon Scientific, LLCTakoma ParkUSA

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