Hand-Held Fluorometer Using Selex DNA Aptamer Strip Assays to Detect Cryptosporidium and Encephlitozoon
Systems & Processes Engineering Corporation (SPEC) proposes to develop receptors composed of DNA oligomers ("aptamers") from a combinatorial library for binding and detecting Cryptosporidium parvum oocysts and three species of Encephalitozoon spores. Aptamers will be generated by the Systematic Evolution of Ligands by EXponential enrichment (SELEX) combinatorial chemistry technique. SELEX aptamers offer several major advantages over antibody technology; most notably eliminating the use of animal hosts, resulting in reduced cost, as well as higher affinity and specificity to target pathogens of interest. The Phase I objective is to generate a set of specific DNA aptamers to bind and detect oocysts and spores. Aptamer assay development will be designed for use on a magnetic bead-based cartridge for enhanced sample separation into various aptamer capture regions with subsequent detection using SPEC's proprietary hand-held fluorometer. In Phase II, SPEC will clone and sequence the aptamers and optimize assays for field and home use. In addition, SPEC will add the ability to transfer data from the fluorescence reader at remote locations to a Web site either by hardwire or wireless pager.
Small Business Information at Submission:
Systems & Processes Engineering Corporation
101 West 6th Street Suite 200 Austin, TX 78701
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