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Detection of Persons with Mild, Intermittent Asthma

Award Information

Department of Defense
Office of the Secretary of Defense
Award ID:
Program Year/Program:
1998 / SBIR
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
Solicitation Topic Code:
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
Physical Sciences Inc.
20 New England Business Center Andover, MA 01810-
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Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No
Phase 1
Fiscal Year: 1998
Title: Detection of Persons with Mild, Intermittent Asthma
Agency / Branch: DOD / OSD
Contract: N/A
Award Amount: $69,998.00


An R&D effort is proposed to develop a rapid, inexpensive method to detect asthma in military recruit applicants, especially those suspected of mild or moderate disease. The proposed method will build upon a large and evolving body of research which strongly implicates increased levels of nitric oxide (NO) as a respiratory marker for asthma. The NO breath assay is attractive because its fast and virtually risk-free. The ultimate goal is to develop and validate a method that is affordable and easy to use within typical MEPCOM (Military Entrance Processing Command) centers. The novel sensing technology proposed herein seeks to achieve a combination of affordability, sensitivity and simplicity not currently available from existing NO sensors. The Phase I effort will focus on the development and laboratory testing of a new, thin film, polymer-based sensor, custom-formulated and designed to accurately measure down to parts per billion levels of exhaled nitric oxide in human breath. In Phase II, prototype clinical instruments utilizing these sensors will be fabricated and delivered to designated clinical investigational site(s) for preliminary testing on human volunteers. The study objective would be to evaluate, in a population of active young adults, the ability of expired nitric oxide level to predict current and future asthma-related symptoms. A non-invasive and unambiguous method for measuring airway inflammation has been a goal of asthma researchers for some time. A method that is affordable and easy to perform would be of great value in both military and civilian healthcare settings. Asthma is a serious chronic condition that affects over 10 million Americans and its prevalence is reportedly increasing in the military and civilian population.

Principal Investigator:

Mitchell A. Zakin

Business Contact:

Small Business Information at Submission:

20 New England Business Center Andover, MA 01810

Number of Employees:
Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No