Biocatalytic air monitor for detection of nerve agents
DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): Agentase seeks Phase I SBIR funding to adapt its single-use surface-sensing technology to an on-line, real-time sensor format for detection of trace amounts of nerve agent contamination in air. The proposed unit will be small, rugged, self-contained, inexpensive, and compatible with other sensor constructs. Previous work in our lab suggests the unit will have excellent sensitivity, rapid response to contamination, and high accuracy and reliability in detection contamination. The efforts of this Phase I proposal are directed at developing and building prototype sensors having practical utility in a field environment. Many tests within e2B the US and Europe have shown that the Agentase single point technology is highly successful in detecting nerve agents, and operational tests have shown that this new sensing technology is well suited and accepted by potential end users within the military and homeland security communities. This enzyme-based biosensor is capable of detecting nerve agents on surfaces, in solution, and in air. The sensor technology makes use of the pH-dependent catalytic activity of enzymes to develop a dynamic pH equilibrium and provides a positive signal by changing color from yellow to red in the presence of nerve agents. Enzymes per definition are highly specific to nerve agents and are superior to any other conventional detection mechanism. Agentase seeks to utilize its technology and expertise to extend the use of its sensing technology towards continuous air monitoring equipment allowing an early detection and thus limiting human exposure. As shown in preliminary experiments, Agentase intends to supply a continuous stream of substrate to its sensing polymer to turn its single point detection mechanism into a continuous format for detection of nerve agents in air. In addition an electronic signal reader will be added capable of quantitative signal interpretation and suitable for remote sensing applications. Phase II will involve prototype construction and field testing of the nerve agent unit as well as development work for expansion to other hazardous chemicals.
Small Business Information at Submission:
AGENTASE, LLC 3636 BLVD OF THE ALLIES, STE B17 PITTSBURGH, PA 15213
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