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LSPR Nano-Immunosensor for Simple and Sensitive Water Monitoring

Award Information

Environmental Protection Agency
Award ID:
Program Year/Program:
2008 / SBIR
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
Solicitation Topic Code:
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
2520 W 237TH ST TORRANCE, CA 90505-5217
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Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No
Phase 1
Fiscal Year: 2008
Title: LSPR Nano-Immunosensor for Simple and Sensitive Water Monitoring
Agency: EPA
Contract: EP-D-08-0036
Award Amount: $69,998.00


There is an ever-present need to know what is in our nations water in order to protect our people and the environment. The issue of ensuring the safety of drinking water has become more critical in light of homeland security concerns. Water systems must guard against contamination from typical wastes, and be able to monitor for bacteria, toxins, spores, and viruses that can be introduced into drinking water supplies at numerous points in the source and distribution networks. In view of the increasing threat, it is highly desirable to have water monitoring results available in real-time, or near real-time, for purposes of process control, or rapid intervention, in the case of a serious problem or threat. Laboratory tests, such as immunoassays, exist for toxins and microorganisms, but it is not currently possible to monitor for their presence on-line, in near real-time, because of the complexity of the tests. Intelligent Optical Systems intends to address the current limitations of available water monitoring technologies by applying emerging optical detection and nanotechnologies to develop on-line water monitoring instrumentation that will be capable of detecting a wide range of organic pollutants, toxins, and microorganisms in a multiplexed fashion. One innovative aspect of the proposed detection method is that immunoassays can be performed in a simplified manner where no additional reagents or labeled molecules are required. The assays can be performed using inexpensive, disposable flow cell cartridges that can be chosen for the assays of interest. Thus, it will be possible to obtain near real-time results in a portable, field use format. The objectives of the proposed study are to demonstrate the use of this innovative optical assay for both a toxin and a microorganism present in a flowing stream of water. As part of the proposed studies, a disposable flow cell will be designed and fabricated to implement the innovative optical immunoassays. These cells will be used to demonstrate the assay of a toxin, microcystin, and E. coli bacterial cells. The success of the proposed work will result in the capability to conduct water monitoring for organic chemicals, toxins, and microorganisms in near real-time using economical instrumentation that can be operated in an unattended fashion. The anticipated commercial applications for this water monitoring system include: monitoring surface water, monitoring source water at drinking water processing facilities, monitoring water in air conditioning systems, and monitoring drinking water in distribution systems.

Principal Investigator:

Glen J. Bastiaans
Senior Scientist & Group Leader

Business Contact:

Lothar Kempen
Vice President, R&D
Small Business Information at Submission:

Intelligent Optical Systems, Inc.
2520 W. 237th Street Torrance, CA 90505

EIN/Tax ID: 954680779
Number of Employees: N/A
Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No