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Disposable Micromachined Flow Immunoassay for Field Detection of Contaminants

Award Information

Environmental Protection Agency
Award ID:
Program Year/Program:
1997 / SBIR
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
Solicitation Topic Code:
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
American Research Corporation of Virginia
1509 Fourth Street P.O. Box 3406 Radford, VA 24143 0340
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Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No
Phase 1
Fiscal Year: 1997
Title: Disposable Micromachined Flow Immunoassay for Field Detection of Contaminants
Agency: EPA
Contract: 68D70034
Award Amount: $70,000.00


The use of enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) to detect contaminants such as solvents, fuels, and pesticides in soil and water samples is now well established. Although ELISA and related methods can facilitate analysis of samples, several washing and separation steps are involved that require 30 to 120 minutes per sample to reach equilibrium. Recently, near infrared fluorescence immunoassays have been shown to exhibit unparalleled sensitivity to solvents, fuels, and pesticides in a laboratory setting. However, there remains a need to develop a reliable, highly sensitive, lightweight instrument capable of performing automated immunoassays of contaminants for field applications. This proposal suggests the development of a compact, fluorescent flow immunosensor having near-infrared emitting diode laser excitation that can be used in soil and water analysis. The innovation of the proposed system is the combination of microelectromechanical methods of sample introduction and preparation with sensitive diode laser-based near-infrared fluorescence-tagged immunological probes to provide a low-cost sensor having high sensitivity to a range of hazardous materials in field operations. The Phase I technical objectives include design and fabrication of a flow cell and modular probe for use in diode laser-based immunoassay, coupling of near-infrared fluorophores to contaminant-specific antibodies, and calibration of the flow immunosensor using nanoMolar hydrocarbon and pesticide samples for acquisition of families of test data to be used in the optimization of a proof-of-concept prototype system.

Principal Investigator:

Dr. Russell J. Churchill

Business Contact:

Ms. Anne Churchill
Small Business Information at Submission:

American Research Corporation
P.O. Box 3406 Radford, VA 24143

Number of Employees: N/A
Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No