SBIR Phase II: Biosensor for Label-Free, Real-Time Monitoring of Environmental Pathogens

Award Information
National Science Foundation
Award Year:
Phase II
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
Solicitation Topic Code:
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
Ciencia Inc
111 Roberts Street, Suite K, East Hartford, CT, 06108
Hubzone Owned:
Minority Owned:
Woman Owned:
Principal Investigator:
Salvador Fernandez
(860) 528-9737
Business Contact:
Salvador Fernandez
(860) 528-9737
Research Institution:
This Small Business Innovation Research Phase II project will develop a portable system for real-time, simultaneous detection and identification of multiple environmental microbes and toxins from aqueous or aerosol samples, on site, with high sensitivity and specificity and with minimal false positives or negative events. The system consists of a disposable biosensor chip and an optical reader device. The detection is based on a proprietary optical transduction technology known as grating-coupled surface plasmon resonance imaging (GCSPRI). Prior Phase I work has demonstrated the feasibility of the GCSPR microarray technology for multiplexed detection with high sensitivity. The goal of the Phase II project is to develop a laboratory prototype of a detection/identification sensor and a prototype chip for multiplexed detection of a model set of three analytes including a bacterium, a virus and a toxin. Non-pathogenic organisms will be used as model systems. Multi-epitope detection methods will be explored for reducing the probability of false alarms. The end result of the Phase II effort will be a demonstration with the laboratory prototype using manual sample introduction. This will provide the logical and critical milestone to transition into commercial development of a portable detection system interfaced to an aerosol collector for field testing and evaluation. The commercial application of this project is in the detection of biological agents for Homeland Defense. The capability for near real-time, multiplexed measurements with a low false alarm rate will be valuable whenever rapid assessment of a contaminated environment is needed. The potential applications would include hospitals, where nosocomial infections may arise; large buildings, where accidental contamination with mold spores, Legionella and other pathogens may create health hazards; recreational water and drinking water supplies, where waterborne pathogens are a great concern; and the food industry, where there is a need for sensitive methods for on-line and real-time detection of pathogens.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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