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Single Process Multiplex Detection System for Biological and Chemical Pathogens in Food and Water

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Army
Contract: W911QY-20-C-0061
Agency Tracking Number: A2-8080
Amount: $550,000.00
Phase: Phase II
Program: SBIR
Solicitation Topic Code: A15-064
Solicitation Number: 15.1
Solicitation Year: 2015
Award Year: 2020
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2020-03-12
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2021-06-30
Small Business Information
825 North 300 West Suite NE 300
Salt Lake City, UT 84103-1111
United States
DUNS: 961737421
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: No
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: No
Principal Investigator
 Himanshu Sant
 (801) 935-7245
Business Contact
 Himanshu Sant
Phone: (801) 935-7245
Research Institution

The current approaches to monitoring pathogens are laborious and time-consuming.  None of the devices is multiplexed enough to accommodate a large variety of pathogens, as requested in the original solicitation.  Typically, more than 24 hours are required with relatively large lab requirements and trained technicians to detect the content of pathogens in food and water.  Espira has developed an automated instrument for single process analysis of pathogens in food and water sample matrices. The device includes automated sample collection, concentration, and detection and can be operated by minimally trained personnel. For Phase II of this project, we applied our device towards the following targets: (i) Viral targets would include Hepatitis A, Norovirus, Rotavirus, and Coxsackievirus A &B, (ii) Parasite targets consist of Giardia, Cryptosporidium, Amebiasis, E. cuniculi, E. hellem and E. intestinalis.   (iii) Bacterial targets would include Shiga Toxigenic Escherichia coli (STEC), Listeria monocytogenes, Salmonella, P. aeruginosa, and Campylobacter.  In the recently concluded Army Phase 2 project, we tested the feasibility of our technology towards an integrated (single process) and automated instrument for the near-real-time in line diagnostics with 100 ml drinking water and 25 gm food sample seeded with a known quantity of pathogens of interest. Espira will employ its unique sample preparation technology to prepare clean samples that can be processed with other detection strategies e.g polymerase chain reaction. Secondly, we will add and integrate a heavy metal and biotoxin detection modules to Espira's automated instrument for water and food samples.  These additional modules allow Espira’s instrument to have much needed single instrument for such wide-ranging applications for both defense and civilian customers.    Espira envisions the use of this instrument in a variety of sectors important to the department of defense.  The complete stand-alone system is modular and the process can be modified to accommodate multiple pathogens or change the type of pathogen being processed by changing the disposable cartridge.  The device can potentially be used not only for pathogens in food and water but also for other biohazards including biowarfare agents.

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

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