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Colorimetric Sensors for Chemical and Biological Warfare Agents

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Army
Contract: W9132T-06-C-0037
Agency Tracking Number: A064-024-0120
Amount: $99,997.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: STTR
Solicitation Topic Code: A06-T024
Solicitation Number: N/A
Solicitation Year: 2006
Award Year: 2006
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2006-09-12
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2007-03-11
Small Business Information
2001 South First St. Suite 201, Champaign, IL, 61820
DUNS: 170941129
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Lu, Yi
 (217) 333-2619
Business Contact
 Lu Geng
Title: Senior Scientist
Phone: (217) 377-9806
Research Institution
 Kathy Young
 1901 S. First St. , Ste. A
Champaign, IL, 61820
 (217) 333-6323
 Nonprofit college or university
We aim to construct litmus paper-like colorimetric sensors for detection and quantification of chemical and biological agents in water by performing combinatorial selection of DNA aptamers for cyanobacteria toxins such as microcystins and saxitoxins. Aptamers are single stranded DNA that can bind target molecules with high affinity and specificity. Such DNA aptamers are biocompatible, biodegradable, and highly stable even at elevated temperatures and dry conditions, especially when conjugated with nanoparticles. Cyanobacteria toxins are the most encountered toxins in water sources. After obtaining toxin-specific aptamers, DNA-functionalized gold nanoparticles will be used to obtain rapid, autonomous, cost-effective and easily interpretable sensors for soldiers in the field. The sensors will be made into a test strip format that can be easily used by soldiers or other users without a chemistry background. Importantly, the same technology will be applicable to detect a broad range of chemical and biological agents without an extensive support system. In the Phase I research, the feasibility of using the proposed approach will be demonstrated and prototype test kits will be constructed and characterized in Phase II.

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

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