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AHTP-comet: development of an automated, high throughput comet assay system

Award Information
Agency: Department of Health and Human Services
Branch: National Institutes of Health
Contract: 1R41ES030274-01
Agency Tracking Number: R41ES030274
Amount: $149,846.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: STTR
Solicitation Topic Code: NIEHS
Solicitation Number: PA18-575
Timeline
Solicitation Year: 2018
Award Year: 2019
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2019-02-15
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2021-01-31
Small Business Information
20841 JOHNSON ST STE 109, Pembroke Pines, FL, 33029-1922
DUNS: 142422091
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 CHRISTOPHER ROSS
 (305) 490-3517
 chris.ross@engr-group.com
Business Contact
 CHRISTOPHER ROSS
Phone: (305) 490-3517
Email: chris.ross@engr-group.com
Research Institution
 FLORIDA INTERNATIONAL UNIVERSITY
 11200 S W 8TH ST MARC 430
MIAMI, FL, 33199-0001
 Nonprofit college or university
Abstract
PROJECT SUMMARY Genomic instabilityinduced by DNA damageand partly mitigated by DNA repair and antioxidantsplays a critical role in the pathogenesis of many major human diseasessuch as neurodegenerationcancer and cardiovascular diseasetogether with agingThere is a critical need for automated assays that can perform these assessmentsand bring them into greater routine usewhich will help advance our understanding of diseaseand its environmental causesWe propose to address this void by combining our expertise in automated liquid handling and medical device engineeringwith our innovations in single cell gel electrophoresisthe comet assayDue to its relative simplicitythe comet assay continues to gain increasing popularity as a means of quantifying DNA damage repair antioxidant capacityIn addition to regulatory applicationsthe comet assay is used widely for human biomonitoringassessing environmental and occupational exposuresand understanding basic biological mechanismsAlthough weand othershave described innovations that have increased sample throughput for the comet assayit remains time consumingup to three daysandfor the most partlabor intensivemultiple stepsand multiple sample slides processed individuallywhich can also introduce errors and variationWe have developed a method for high throughput processing of comet assay slidesHTP cometpatent pendingHoweverthis methodas with all comet assay methodsrequires operator involvement at numerous key stepswhich increases the total cost of the assayand limits its more widespread useWe have further developed a patentedproof of principle device that fully automates the majority of the steps in the comet assaymaking it a fully walkaway systemthat decreases assay run timeremoves all slide manipulationsand the need for a dedicated dark roomincreases safetycontrol and standardization of conditionsand minimizes operator involvementThis STTR application represents a strategic effort between Engineering Resources Groupan NSF I corps experiencedSBCand Florida International Universityto determine the technical meritfeasibilityand commercial potential of an automated HTPAHTPcomet device through refinement and miniaturizationThe availability of such a self containedbenchtop deviceas proposedwill accelerate existing applications of the comet assayas well as increase the number of sites and contexts in which DNA damage repair antioxidants status can be assessedIn turnthis will advance translational discoverystimulate biomonitoringand promote new applications for the assessment of DNA damagerepairand cellular antioxidant capacity PROJECT NARRATIVE DNA damagecaused by environmental agentsor the body s normal processesplays a critical role in the development of many major human diseaseswith profound public health implicationsWe propose the development of an automated devicewhich is simplerapidwith increased throughputand affords increased precisionto support the assessment of DNA damage and repairFacilitating such measures will help advance our knowledge of the role of DNA damage in health and disease

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

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