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Improved Kit for Chemical Detection

Award Information

Department of Defense
Award ID:
Program Year/Program:
2003 / STTR
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
Solicitation Topic Code:
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
3636 Boulevard of the Allies, Suite B-17 Pittsburgh, PA 15213
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Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No
Phase 1
Fiscal Year: 2003
Title: Improved Kit for Chemical Detection
Agency / Branch: DOD / ARMY
Contract: DAAD1903C0080
Award Amount: $100,000.00


Agentase seeks Phase I STTR support to develop a kit of sensors for the detection of chemical weapons. The proposed effort builds upon an active program to develop chemical sensors based upon Agentase's patented enzyme-polymer biosensor technology. Workwill be conducted in two major areas. First, a prototype vesicant sensor will be crafted using similar approaches and techniques as those used in developing Agentase's existing nerve and blood agent sensors. Specifically, enzymes known to be susceptibleto inactivation via blister agents will first be tested for inhibition sensitivity toward alkylating agents and arsenic compounds using standard high throughput screening techniques. Effective substrate formulations and delivery systems will then beestablished for those target enzymes showing promise in sensor development. Substrates must be sufficiently stable for adequate shelf life and enable enzyme activity to be visually assessed. Viable enzyme / substrate combinations will be incorporatedwithin Agentase polymers and used in proof-of-concept demonstrations for chemical identification, including live agent validation. After identifying a viable vesicant sensor(s), a small kit will be designed to accommodate Agentase's nerve, blood, and theprototype blister agent sensors. The resulting kit will be simple to employ and shall have no logistical or power requirements. While there are products in the market that can presently be used to detect a variety of chemical weapons, those products tendto fall in one of two broad categories. The first type of product uses simple chemical approaches to detect agents via colorimetric techniques. Representative products include M256 kits, gas detection tubes, and paper detection products. These productsrange in complexity and price but are all highly susceptible to interference and are not compatible with on-line monitoring. The second product category includes more complex spectrophotometric and chromatographic equipment such as the CAM and portable IRdevices. Devices such as the portable IR can be less sensitive to chemical interference but are very expensive to purchase and maintain. Proper deployment of the unit also requires at least one highly trained operator. Effective utilization of theAgentase approaches will result in the development of CW/TIC sensors having the cost and simplicity the simple sensors combined with the sensitivity and interference resistance of the more expensive devices. These attributes combined with being portableand having continuous monitoring adaptability make the proposed Agentase sensors very attractive in many applications.

Principal Investigator:

Keith LeJeune

Business Contact:

Gary Ryker
VP and CBO
Small Business Information at Submission:

Agentase LLC
3636 Boulevard of the Allies, Suite B-17 Pittsburgh, PA 15213

EIN/Tax ID: 251821159
Number of Employees:
Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No
Research Institution Information:
2012 Tollgate Road, Suite 206
Bel Air, MD 21015
Contact: Jim Peterson
Contact Phone: (410) 306-8632
RI Type: Domestic nonprofit research organization