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Inducible Surface Hydrophobicity of Microbial Consortia for Biofilm Remediation

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Army
Contract: DAAD1903C0092
Agency Tracking Number: A033-0163
Amount: $100,000.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: STTR
Solicitation Topic Code: N/A
Solicitation Number: N/A
Solicitation Year: N/A
Award Year: 2003
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): N/A
Award End Date (Contract End Date): N/A
Small Business Information
350 Second Ave.
Waltham, MA 02451
United States
DUNS: 019677178
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: No
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: No
Principal Investigator
 Vladimir Guilmanov
 Senior Engineer
 (781) 684-4174
Business Contact
 Ross Olander
Title: Executive Vice President
Phone: (781) 684-4242
Research Institution
 David Kaplan
Department of Biomedical, Engineering
Medford, MA 02155
United States

 (617) 627-3251
 Nonprofit College or University

Microbial degradation is an effective method of decontaminating pools of free-phase pollutants, such as chlorinated solvents and explosives, in groundwater. The formation of microbial consortia capable of residing on free-phase contaminants has been shownrecently by the proposer. The population obtained in a continuous selection process exhibited increased surface hydrophobicity, considered to be a key feature for anchoring the biofilm at the interface. The consortia effectively prevented the flux ofcontaminants into the water layer. After establishing a mature biofilm, the TCE concentration was reduced by 95 percent.The successful deployment of biofilm making organisms requires that their surface hydrophobicity be inducible upon contact with the free-phase substrate, insuring that the organisms will not aggregate and phase separate in aqueous ground flow. Anotherimportant feature of the organisms would be their capability to self-destruct after the pollutant was completely degraded. A research effort is proposed to enable the microbial degraders to have the following capabilities:inducible hydrophobicity of cell surface using continuous culture selection and self-destruction of consortia via incorporation of cassettes of suicide plasmids.The objective of the program is to develop microbial consortia that will effectively migrate to, anchor on, localize, and degrade pools of free-phase pollutants. (P-030454) In situ biological remediation is preferred to ex situ treatment because of lower energy and capital investment costs, it is more efficient due to immediate localization of the polluted area, and the aquifers can be completely restored.This development, if successful, will provide a unique opportunity for removing the source of extensive environmental contamination, namely pools of chlorinated solvents and solid residues of explosives. This process can be used not only by the USDepartment of Defense, but also by commercial firms both in the United States and abroad.

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

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