Field Portable Gel Element Arrays for Microbial Community Profiling in Subsurface Sediments and Groundwater
A simple-to-use, microarray-based, environmental diagnostic device is needed to enable technicians and engineers to monitor the structure and dynamics of microbial communities in groundwater and subsurface environments. This project addresses this need by integrating complex molecular-microbiology operations into a fluidic architecture that can be mass produced at low cost and operated by any unskilled technician with a simple push of the button. Phase I identified the basic biochemical and technical methods required for microfluidic nucleic acid extraction, purification, labeling, microarray hybridization, and data analysis. Phase II will develop a standard-operating protocol for a gel element array; improve the efficiency of on-cartridge nucleic acid recovery from environmental samples; integrate the sample preparation, amplification, and microarray sub-circuits into a unified system; establish a semi-automated decision logic for interpreting the array data; and evaluate the integrated model and standard operating procedure with environmental samples impacted by metals, radionuclides, or organics. Commercial Applications and Other Benefits as described by the awardee: A low-cost, affordable, diagnostic cartridge and controller device will improve the nation¿s ability to clean up environmental hazards; inexpensively monitor environmental samples through time and space for microorganisms of interest or concern; and reduce the cost of cleanup, restoration, or public health mitigation activities associated with environmental contaminants.
Small Business Information at Submission:
Akonni Biosystems, Inc.
9702 Woodfield Court New Market, MD 21774
Number of Employees: