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SBIR Phase I: Cough analyzer of airborne bacteria for Tuberculosis diagnosis

Award Information

National Science Foundation
Award ID:
Program Year/Program:
2011 / SBIR
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
Solicitation Topic Code:
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
2265 E. Foothill Boulevard PASADENA, CA -
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Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No
Phase 1
Fiscal Year: 2011
Title: SBIR Phase I: Cough analyzer of airborne bacteria for Tuberculosis diagnosis
Agency: NSF
Contract: 1113148
Award Amount: $149,899.00


This Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase I project develops a device to diagnose lung infections from cough with a focus on active Tuberculosis (TB). TB diagnostics inherently have a trade-off between practicality (time, resources, training, cost) and performance (sensitivity and specificity). Furthermore, most current TB diagnostics rely on sputum samples, which are difficult to collect (low practicality) and are usually contaminated by saliva, lowering their quality (low performance). The proposed device is practical: a patient wears a disposable mask and coughs naturally into a novel impactor that breaks up the cough droplets in air and collects their DNA. The impactor avoids both sputum samples and microfluidics for lysing cells. The proposed device?s high performance is based on the automation of the collected DNA with a nucleic acid amplification test (NAAT) specific to TB and multi-drug resistant TB (MDR-TB). The research objectives of the Phase I feasibility project are (1) to simulate a patient?s cough using pulsed nebulization of TB simulant suspension and (2) to determine the limit of detection of the impactor-biosensor system. Anticipated fluorescence results will determine the number of simulated coughs needed for detection. The broader impact/commercial potential of this project is in eliminating TB. TB is a contagious disease that causes 2 million deaths annually. Approximately 9.3 million people worldwide develop TB every year, of which 4.4 million are undiagnosed. Improving TB diagnostics results in 625,000 annually adjusted lives saved worldwide, and elimination of TB from industrialized countries. The served available market for active TB diagnostics comprises more than 175M tests with a total value of $700M and a potential to reach a total available market of 280M tests. The market can be segmented based on three market needs: (1) improving the active TB diagnostic cycle of care, (2) avoiding sputum collection, and (3) avoiding sputum induction and bronchoalveolar lavage. The proposed device provides a cost effective solution to all three needs. The development of this TB diagnostic device can have wider implications in the cough-sample preparation/diagnostics of other lung infections such as Pneumonia.

Principal Investigator:

Patrick Sislian

Business Contact:

Patrick Sislian
Small Business Information at Submission:

4503 Glencoe Avenue Marina del Rey, CA 90292-0000

EIN/Tax ID: 270227640
Number of Employees:
Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No