SBIR Phase II: Development of a Novel Sensing Material for Waterborne Pathogens
This Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase II Project proposes to develop a method to detect Cryptosporidium parvum oocyst in water using a novel sensing coating deposited on filters. C. parvum has been responsible for a number of outbreaks of cryptosporidiosis, including the outbreak in Milwaukee in 1993 that affected 400,000 people. Crytosporidiosis is characterized by abdominal pain and severe diarrhea, and can be fatal to immune-compromised individuals. Currently, there is no easy and reliable test allowing the routine monitoring of drinking water supplies for C. parvum. The approved EPA method for this purpose is slow, expensive, and requires interpretation by highly trained personnel. The innovation inherent in the proposed pathogen detection platform resides in a unique "smart" polymer filter coating that permits pathogen concentration, detection, and signal generation in a single step. The signal is generated from interactions between the target and specific antibodies, resulting in a fluorescent signal. Prior Phase I work has already demonstrated the effectiveness of this approach. The proposed Phase II effort will focus on the optimization of the filter coating and the development of the accompanying hardware and testing protocol needed for commercialization and EPA approval of a complete water-testing product.
The commercial application of this project is in the market for detection of pathogens in drinking water supplies. The testing market for C. parvum, the specific pathogen targeted in this Phase II project, is estimated to be $75 million in the U.S. and $ 100 million worldwide. It is expected that further adaptations of the pathogen detection technology proposed in this project will have added applications in the markets for the testing of foods and beverages, and in medical diagnostics.
Small Business Information at Submission:
Principal Investigator:Mary Reppy
Analytical Biological Services Inc
701-4 Cornell Business Park Wilmington, DE 19801
Number of Employees: