Toward the Molecular Imprinting of Nerve Agents: Development of a Detoxifying Towelette

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Office of the Secretary of Defense
Contract: N/A
Agency Tracking Number: 41362
Amount: $99,995.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 1998
Solicitation Year: N/A
Solicitation Topic Code: N/A
Solicitation Number: N/A
Small Business Information
Intelligent Optical Systems,
2520 W. 237th Street, Torrance, CA, 90505
DUNS: N/A
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Kisholoy Goswami, Ph.d.
 (310) 530-7130
Business Contact
Phone: () -
Research Institution
N/A
Abstract
Human skin exposed to a liquid nerve agent, such as sarin, must be decontaminated immediately (within one minute) to avoid fatality. Intelligent Optical Systems proposes a decontamination towelette containing a molecularly imprinted polymer (MIP) that mimics the binding characteristics of the enzyme acetylcholinesterase. The cost, shelf life, and storage conditions of a disposable towelette are important considerations. Enzymes are best preserved at 40C, a temperature that poses logistical constraints in. the field. In some instances, it is not easy to find a suitable biological source for the necessary enzymes. They often require special handling to maintain their tertiary structure. Organic solvents severely limit enzyme their usefulness. Molecularly imprinted polymers bind to substrates (such as sarin) selectively because the binding sites and the substrate complement each other in size, shape, and chemical functionality. MIPs combine the advantages of easy tailor design with physical and chemical stability, durability, and reactive functionality. The selectivities and affinities acquired from the molecular imprinting process are also on par, in many instances, with natural binding entities. In Phase I, 105 will synthesize and test MIPs using paraoxon, an analog of sarin, and demonstrate MIPs' substrate binding potential for nerve gas decontamination. In addition to providing a high-performance alternative to enzymes for decontamination, molecularly imprinted polymers will have excellent potential for biosensors. Applications include the detection of explosives, toxic chemicals and biological agents, medical diagnostics, environmental monitoring, chemical process control, food processing control, and biotechnology instrumentation.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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