Rapid Field Toxicity Test for Water Supplies
Agency / Branch:
DOD / ARMY
A patented (U.S. Patent #4,950,594-1990) inexpensive, quick, precise method of testing substances for toxicity has been developed, LUMITOX (R), which measures quenching, in the presence of toxins, of the natural bioluminescence of the abundant marine dinoflagellate Pyrocystis lunula. The LUMITOX (R) microbiological assay is a compact laboratory procedure that has been proven effective on all common toxins tested. Specific applications have included mycotoxins, exfoliates, insecticides, waterbottom sediments (Chukchi Sea), marine antifouling paints, and oil-well drilling fluids. The procedure has demonstrated a variation of less than 10%, sensitivity to a few parts per million, and effectiveness in darkly colored and turbid media. At its present stage of development, in the laboratory LUMITOX (R) yields results in a few hours, rather than the days required for existing bioassays. A project is under way to isolate the test organism's operative enxymes in order to develop a field-testing reagent. Design and construction of portable device consisting of a sample chamber, agitator, photodiode, metering circuit (also patented, U.S. Patent #4,689,305-1987), and LED or other readout mode also are necessary to complete a portable field toxicity testing unit, which as obvious potential for both military and civilian environmental applications.
Small Business Information at Submission:
Principal Investigator:Dr. Arthur V. Stiffey
600 Loyola Avenue, Suite 202 New Orleans, LA 70113
Number of Employees: