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Laser-based In-situ Testing of Microbes with Ultraviolet Spectroscopy (LITMUS)

Award Information
Agency: Environmental Protection Agency
Branch: N/A
Contract: 68HERC21C0010
Agency Tracking Number: B201A-0017
Amount: $99,985.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Solicitation Topic Code: 20-OSAPE-1A
Solicitation Number: 68HERC20R0111
Solicitation Year: 2020
Award Year: 2021
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2021-03-01
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2021-08-31
Small Business Information
1512 Industrial Park Street
Covina, CA 91722-3417
United States
DUNS: 946316007
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: No
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: No
Principal Investigator
 Rohit Bhartia
 Principal Scientist
 (626) 390-0403
Business Contact
 William Hug
Title: CEO
Phone: (626) 233-8999
Research Institution

This proposal addresses the need for continuous microbial monitoring in water reuse treatment systems. The proposal will lead to a near-real-time, in-situ, reagentless sensor for potable and non-potable water systems. LITMUS (Laser-based Insitu Testing of Microbes with Ultraviolet Spectroscopy) uses deep UV laser excitation to directly detect microbes from the autofluorescence of protein-bound aromatic amino acids. LITMUS mitigates the challenges of current microbial detection methods being used by enabling an in-line/continuous flow, autonomous, no consumables method, with a detection range from >1x106 cells/ml, down to <10 microbial cells/ml. LITMUS will enable sampling and analysis of 1 ml of water every second and its design simplicity leads to low cost systems with minimal maintenance. The capabilities the LITMUS enables implementation of microbial monitoring at all scales of wastewater facilities, centralized and decentralized/on-site, that reusing water for non-potable and indirect/direct potable water.

Under this Phase 1 effort, Photon Systems will demonstrate microbial detection, ifferentiability of microbes, and quantitation for use in a continuous flow microbial monitoring system with unprecedented temporal resolution for direct detection of microbes. The effort leverages TRL 9 components from our current NASA life-detection efforts as well as prior DOD, NSF, DTRA efforts and brings the deep UV spectroscopy technology to water quality assessment.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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