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Wearable Alcohol Biosensors SBIR (R43/R44)


Rapid advances are being made in wearable technology, including clothing, jewelry and other devices with broadly diverse functions that meet medical or consumer needs.  This FOA seeks applications from small businesses that propose to design and produce a non-invasive wearable device to monitor blood alcohol levels in real time.

Alcohol detection technology for personal alcohol monitoring has been successful in judicial and law enforcement settings, yet needs significant modification for wider use in other situations.  Current technological developments in electronics, miniaturization, wireless communication, and biophysical techniques of alcohol detection in humans increase the likelihood of successful development of a general use alcohol biosensor in the near future.

The alcohol biosensor device should be unobtrusive, appealing to the wearer, and can take the form of jewelry, clothing, or any other format located in contact with the human body. Advances in alcohol detection that depart from measuring alcohol in sweat or sweat vapor are sought. Techniques to quantitate alcohol in blood or interstitial fluid are highly encouraged.  Applicants are encouraged to pursue any technology - including but not limited to biophysical, optical, wave, or other novel approaches- that works in a non-invasive way and can be incorporated into a wearable.

The device should be able to quantitate blood alcohol level, interpret, and store the data or transmit it to a smartphone or other device by wireless transmission.  The device should have the ability to verify standardization at regular intervals and to indicate loss of functionality.  The power source should be dependable and rechargeable.  Data storage and transmission must be completely secure in order to protect the privacy of the individual.  A form of subject identification would be an added benefit.  The device can be removable. 

It is envisioned that wearable alcohol monitors will serve useful purposes in research, clinical, and treatment settings, will play a role in public safety, and will be of interest to individuals interested in keeping track of personal health parameters. Designs may emphasize any of these potential market subsets or may seek to be broadly marketable.   


See Section VIII. Other Information for award authorities and regulations.

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