The Myo-Chem Monitor for OP Compounds
DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant):
The investigators propose to develop a diagnostic device called the Myo-Chem
Monitor (TM) that will sense if an individual has been compromised by exposure
to chemical agents containing organophosphates (OP). These compounds are the
active ingredients in more than 25,000 household and agricultural pesticides
and insecticides. The diagnosis is based on the interpretation of the
electromyographic (EMG) signal detected non-invasively on the surface of the
skin. When an OP agent enters the blood stream and is delivered to the nerve
and muscle times, its presence causes a disruption of the firing of the action
potentials on the membrane of the muscle fibers. This disruption can be
assessed and quantified by detecting the EMG signal that propagated to the
surface of the skin. Their approach differs from all others in that it
determines if an individual has been compromised by an OP agent rather than
only being exposed to it. It will also hopefully be possible to: 1) make the
diagnosis immediately with minimal preparation, 2) detect its presence in the
body prior to overt symptoms being displayed, 3) determine the dose of the
agent that has entered the body, and 4) assess the potential degree of
cognitive impairment associating with changes in the EMG indexes.
The investigators propose to perform experiments on four rhesus monkeys and to
define robust EMG indexes based on sophisticated signal processing techniques.
Then, they will establish relationships between the EMG indexes and the dose
of the OP compound and the degree of cognitive impairment in the primates.
These relationships will provide a basis for furthering the development of the
technology for the Myo-Chem Monitor to a mature prototype, ready for
They foresee applications among farm workers, children, chemical plant
workers, security officers, and other individuals who could be potentially
exposed to OP compounds, such as soldiers exposed to nerve agents.
PROPOSED COMMERCIAL APPLICATION:
The thrust of this proposal is to provide proof-of-concept for a device called the Myo-Chem Monitor TM which Altec fully intends to commercialize. We have already received a patent for this technology which we have begun to develop. In Phase II we plan to request funds for customizing the technology for this project and to advance it to the point where we can attract investors. To date we have procured 4 Phase I SBIRs, all of which were successfully continued as Phase II (one each from Air force, Army, NASA, NM) and a 5th Phase I from NIH. We have already commercialized three products (www.delsys.com). Our SBIR projects have already received two patents and two other have been filed.
Small Business Information at Submission:
Principal Investigator:Per Bergman
BOX 15622, 650 BEACON ST BOSTON, MA 02215
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