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Bilayer Nanofibers as Wearable Sensors for Detecting Fentanyl Compounds

Award Information
Agency: Department of Homeland Security
Branch: N/A
Contract: 70RSAT18C00000018
Agency Tracking Number: FY18.1-H-SB018.1-001-0022-I
Amount: $149,930.99
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Solicitation Topic Code: H-SB018.1-001
Solicitation Number: FY18.1
Solicitation Year: 2018
Award Year: 2018
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2018-05-02
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2018-11-01
Small Business Information
615 Arapeen Drive Suite 102
Salt Lake City, UT 84108-1239
United States
DUNS: 968558481
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: No
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: No
Principal Investigator
 Douglas Later
 President & CEO
 (801) 557-3557
Business Contact
 Douglas Later
Title: President & CEO
Phone: (801) 557-3557
Research Institution

Drug overdose is now the leading cause of death for Americans under 50 years old, with fentanyl claiming more lives than any other drug.Alarmingly, the problem is increasing, with fentanyl overdoses claiming nearly twice as many lives in 2016 compared to 2015.In addition to users, first responders are at risk for coming into contact with fentanyl as they perform their duties.Fentanyl is extremely dangerous because it is odorless and lethal in small quantities.Thus, a low-cost, wearable detector for fentanyl is required to protect first responders and other vulnerable groups.Chemical sensors are appropriate for a low-cost, wearable detector.However, fentanyl is typically found in particles and most chemical sensors are designed to detect gas molecules.Fentanyl is generally found as a salt and is nonvolatile.A method to convert the salt to vapor-phase fentanyl molecules could enable detection using chemical sensors.Vaporsens proposes development of a novel bilayer sensor based on organic nanofibers.The top layer would feature nanofibers with base groups on the surface to adsorb fentanyl particles and withdraw the acid.The bottom layer would be comprised of nanofibers designed to respond to fentanyl compounds.Compared to other chemical sensors, nanofibers offer a higher degree of sensitivity and selectivity.Sensors are small in size and consume little power, appropriate for a wearable detector.The proposed sensors could play a vital role in protecting first responders from becoming victims of the opioid epidemic.

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