SBIR Phase II: Water and Food Analysis by Non-Uniform Electroosmotic flow
National Science Foundation
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Small Business Information
Labrador Research LLC
60 East Simpson Avenue, Jackson, WY, 83001
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged:
AbstractThis award is funded under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (Public Law 111-5). This Small Business Innovation Research Phase II project will result in a prototype portable instrument for water quality analysis. The Phase I SBIR project was designed to show the feasibility of a new technique for separating uncharged polymers; this objective was met with remarkable quantitative accuracy, setting the stage for this Phase II prototype project. The underlying Phase I effort was based on stochastic mathematical models and molecular dynamics simulations through which the Labrador Research team discovered an electrokinetic approach for the separation of uncharged polymers. As efforts progressed, the power and potential of this approach as a generic separation technology became evident as our commercialization approach evolved into addressing the market need for water- and food-quality analysis technologies. This Phase II project will lead to a commercial prototype through iterative design improvements coupled with validation testing. The results obtained during Phase I and the anticipated Phase II results will set the stage for Phase III commercial participation by our financing partners and for rapid deployment of this proprietary chip technology in portable, hand-held analytical instruments. The world is running out of ""quality"" water for drinking and agricultural purposes. At the same time, public health agencies do not have the time, equipment, or resources to proactively check for hazardous chemicals in our drinking water, our water sources, or our food on a routine basis. Recent scares regarding melamine in baby food and pet food, bisphenol A in drinking water bottles, or perchlorate in ground water demonstrate the fragility of the water and food systems. Typical analysis requires collecting a sample in the field and shipping the sample to a test laboratory; water monitoring agencies depend upon these outsourced laboratories where transport and processing time can take days to produce results, wasting precious time when the health of a community is at stake. Existing portable tools can measure a few parts per million, whereas hazardous compounds are often regulated in the part per billion range. Handheld tools that measure a wide array of compounds at a parts-per-billion or better level would be a powerful, valuable, and necessary addition to the analysis toolbox.
* information listed above is at the time of submission.