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Field-Deployable Monitor to Assess Personal Exposure to Multiple Heavy Metals

Award Information

Department of Health and Human Services
Award ID:
Program Year/Program:
2007 / SBIR
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
Solicitation Topic Code:
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
89 RUMFORD AVE NEWTON, MA 02466-1311
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Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No
Phase 1
Fiscal Year: 2007
Title: Field-Deployable Monitor to Assess Personal Exposure to Multiple Heavy Metals
Agency: HHS
Contract: 1R43ES016412-01
Award Amount: $599,212.00


DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant) Numerous pollutant compounds are continuously released into the environment during their production, use and disposal. The resulting mixtures contaminate the environment and can be a potential threat to human bein gs. Heavy metals are significant environmental pollutants because they tend to persist in the environment, tend to bioaccumulate and can result in adverse health effects when ingested or inhaled. These metal species can be measured in human tissue or fluid s such as blood or urine, usually in central laboratories using complex methods such as high-performance liquid chromatography inductively coupled plasma mass spectroscopy. However, in view of the high labor and analytical costs and long time delays associ ated with centralized laboratory analyses, there is an immediate need for a portable and inexpensive system for on-site monitoring of exposure to heavy metals in living systems, especially humans, as a result of exposure through drinking water, environment al, and industrial sources. Field deployable monitoring systems for in-situ, on-site, personal human exposure assessment will allow realtime monitoring of exposure to trace toxic metals, and facilitate the use of bio-monitoring data by allowing the instrum ent to be taken to the sample rather than the traditional way of bringing the sample to the laboratory. The overall objective of this project is to develop a portable, self-contained, easy-to-use monitor for simultaneous on-site measurement of arse nic, cadmium, mercury and lead metals from one urine sample, in near real time, to assess personal exposure. The proposed sensor will combine the high sensitivity of a specialized electrochemical measurement technique with a unique microarray electrode mat erial and configuration. During Phase I, we will investigate sensor design configurations, electrode material composition, and the preliminary operating conditions which will demonstrate the feasibility of the unique microchip sensor prototype for detectio n of arsenic and cadmium species. At the conclusion of the Phase I/II program, a compact, packaged prototype sensor instrument will have been developed, tested and utilized in pilot epidemiological field trials.

Principal Investigator:

Badawi M. Dweik

Business Contact:

Anthony B. Laconti
Small Business Information at Submission:


EIN/Tax ID: 042529800
Number of Employees: N/A
Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No