Field-Deployable Monitor to Assess Personal Exposure to Multiple Heavy Metals

Award Information
Agency: Department of Health and Human Services
Branch: N/A
Contract: 1R43ES016412-01
Agency Tracking Number: ES016412
Amount: $299,707.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2007
Solicitation Year: 2007
Solicitation Topic Code: N/A
Solicitation Number: N/A
Small Business Information
DUNS: 066594979
HUBZone Owned: Y
Woman Owned: Y
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: Y
Principal Investigator
 (781) 529-0520
Business Contact
Phone: (781) 529-0500
Research Institution
DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant) Numerous pollutant compounds are continuously released into the environment during their production, use and disposal. The resulting mixtures contaminate the environment and can be a potential threat to human beings. Heavy metals are significant environmental pollutants because they tend to persist in the environment, tend to bioaccumulate and can result in adverse health effects when ingested or inhaled. These metal species can be measured in human tissue or fluids such as blood or urine, usually in central laboratories using complex methods such as high-performance liquid chromatography inductively coupled plasma mass spectroscopy. However, in view of the high labor and analytical costs and long time delays associated with centralized laboratory analyses, there is an immediate need for a portable and inexpensive system for on-site monitoring of exposure to heavy metals in living systems, especially humans, as a result of exposure through drinking water, environmental, and industrial sources. Field deployable monitoring systems for in-situ, on-site, personal human exposure assessment will allow realtime monitoring of exposure to trace toxic metals, and facilitate the use of bio-monitoring data by allowing the instrument to be taken to the sample rather than the traditional way of bringing the sample to the laboratory. The overall objective of this project is to develop a portable, self-contained, easy-to-use monitor for simultaneous on-site measurement of arsenic, cadmium, mercury and lead metals from one urine sample, in near real time, to assess personal exposure. The proposed sensor will combine the high sensitivity of a specialized electrochemical measurement technique with a unique microarray electrode material and configuration. During Phase I, we will investigate sensor design configurations, electrode material composition, and the preliminary operating conditions which will demonstrate the feasibility of the unique microchip sensor prototype for detection of arsenic and cadmium species. At the conclusion of the Phase I/II program, a compact, packaged prototype sensor instrument will have been developed, tested and utilized in pilot epidemiological field trials.

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

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