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Development of a Highly Sensitive Quantitative Rapid Digital LSPR Diagnostic for Acute Dengue and Zika Virus Infection

Award Information
Agency: Department of Health and Human Services
Branch: National Institutes of Health
Contract: 2R44AI127055-02A1
Agency Tracking Number: R44AI127055
Amount: $2,000,000.00
Phase: Phase II
Program: SBIR
Solicitation Topic Code: NIAID
Solicitation Number: PA18-574
Solicitation Year: 2018
Award Year: 2019
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2019-05-01
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2021-04-30
Small Business Information
San Diego, CA 92121-1341
United States
DUNS: 962535782
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: No
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: Yes
Principal Investigator
 (760) 271-6574
Business Contact
Phone: (858) 766-0495
Research Institution

Project Summary
Ideally, the utilization of point-of-care (POC) diagnostics to facilitate early clinical decision-making for infectious
disease agents requires compatibility in both developing and developed settings. Herein, we propose to exploit a
novel localized surface plasmon resonance (LSPR) digital sensing technology to provide low cost, simple to use
(single-step, no wash step assay), rapid (15-20 minutes), highly sensitive (andlt;1ng/mL), and quantitative diagnostics
compatible with a diverse range of POC settings and infectious diseases. The metallic thin-film sensors are
composed of alternating layers of nano-structured gold and dielectric that emits a highly reproducible and stable
plasmon upon exposure to white light that confers a distinct color to the thin-film. When specific biomarkers are
localized to the sensor surface they interfere with the plasmon resulting in corresponding color changes that are
digitally-monitored with a simple camera-based optical reader using RGB and proprietary algorithms to enable
both high-sensitivity and precise quantification of a target biomolecule in a sample. Furthermore, unique
to the LSPR sensing platform is the exceedingly short sensing range (localized at and extending a few tens of nm
from the surface) that enables a single-step assay format (no wash necessary), which considerably simplifies
disposable cartridge design. In this proposal we detail plans to provide POC diagnostics for acute dengue and
Zika virus infection. The sensors will be integrated into a small fluidic assay cartridge that utilizes simple passive
capillary action to move sample to the sensing region to selectively detect flavivirus specific NS1 proteins from
serum in a rapid 20 minute assay format. We further propose herein to provide a versatile, low cost and
robust hand-held portable camera-based digital reader compatible across a diverse range of POC settings.
The reader will contain blue-tooth and Wi-Fi functionality, and a user-friendly interface with proprietary software
to detect and quantify the LSPR signal / viral NS1 antigen. Prototype diagnostics will be validated against dengue
and Zika patient serum samples to determine sensitivity. Furthermore, the dengue and Zika patient samples as
well as normal and other infectious disease serum samples will be used to test for cross-reactivity (i.e. specificity).
The goal is to provide a working alpha-prototype that demonstrates ≥90% sensitivity and specificity.A highly sensitive, specific, portable, quantitative, rapid and user-friendly diagnostics for acute dengue and
Zika will enable differential diagnosis and potentially prognosis for severe dengue to improve patient care
across diverse geographies and clinical settings.

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

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