Polymeric Toxicity Test
Agency / Branch:
DOD / ARMY
Rapid and accurate assessment of the toxicity of environmental contaminants and other hazardous species, including military-unique chemicals such as warfare agents, remains a significant challenge. Current methodologies are slow, expensive, and require sophisticated laboratory instrumentation. Increasing concerns over the biological effects of common industrial chemicals such as solvents and hydrocarbon fuels, particularly in the context of assessing the overall toxicity of contaminated environmental areas such as waste sites, has motivated the need for rapid, accurate, and inexpensive toxicity tests which can be implemented in field environments. Physical Sciences, Inc. (PSI) proposes to develop a simple, low-cost chemical microsensor-based toxicity test for rapid screening of hazardous species. The toxicity test will utilize an array of sensors whose chemical specificity can be tuned by precise control of chemical composition, and which are self-transducing. In Phase I the concept of developing a microsensor-based toxicity test will be demonstrated by the construction and testing of prototype toxicity test kits for chlorinated hydrocarbons and cholinesterase-inhibiting pesticides. The results will be used to design test kits for other classes of toxic species, which will be constructed and tested in Phase II. BENEFITS: The proposed toxicity tests will be rapid, low-cost, and easy to use in laboratory and field environments, offering significant cost and time savings over current technology. Applications include toxicity screening of environmental pollutants and military-unique chemicals, determination of the overall toxicity of waste sites, and monitoring the progress and effectiveness of environmental clean-up and remediation efforts.
Small Business Information at Submission:
Principal Investigator:Mitchell R. Zakin
PHYSICAL SCIENCES, INC.
20 New England Business Center Andover, MA 01810
Number of Employees: