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Multifunction Substrates for Laser Desorption Ionization

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Air Force
Contract: FA9550-10-C-0124
Agency Tracking Number: F09B-T34-0038
Amount: $100,000.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: STTR
Solicitation Topic Code: AF09-BT34
Solicitation Number: 2009.B
Solicitation Year: 2009
Award Year: 2010
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2010-05-25
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2011-02-25
Small Business Information
14 Mica Lane #6
Wellesley, MA 02481
United States
DUNS: 966305906
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: No
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: No
Principal Investigator
 Steven Ebstein
 (781) 431-9604
Business Contact
 Steven Ebstein
Title: President
Phone: (781) 431-9604
Research Institution
 University of Massachusetts Lowell
 Linda Concino
600 Suffolk Street Second Floor South
Lowell, MA 1854
United States

 (978) 934-4723
 Nonprofit College or University

Lexitek and U. Mass Lowell propose to develop novel laser nanostructured substrates for laser desorption ionization (LDI) that enables mass spectrometry (MS) without an interfering chemical matrix. Lexitek is developing these patented plasmonic devices for molecular sensing using surface enhanced detection techniques. Using a technique invented by U. Mass researchers, the devices are fabricated in semiconductors or metals and consist of a semi-regular array of nanospikes that is subsequently metallized. The surface morphology and metal coating are tailored to optimize the interaction of the incident laser irradiation, the surface plasmons excited in the metal, and the analyte. Lexitek has developed proprietary technology for uniformly spotting the analyte onto the nanostructured surface. In Phase I, we will demonstrate a substrate for LDI that vaporizes analytes with minimal fragmentation. We will optimize the surface morphology and subsequent metallization for a single laser excitation wavelength using an existing MS instrument. In Phase II, we will construct a complete system for doing matrixless LDI and mass spec at multiple wavelengths. We will also develop several novel features of our substrate such as arrayed substrates, performing separation/fractionation in situ, and using soft nanolithography to replicate the nanostructures for very inexpensive substrates. BENEFIT: Our technology will enable very sensitive and specific detection of biomolecules and compounds, enabling a range of applications in biotechnology, clinical diagnostics, and research. The market for molecular diagnostics exceeds $6 billion, worldwide.

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

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