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Real-time Reagentless and Arrayed Detector for the Monitoring of Harmful Algal Bloom Toxins

Award Information
Agency: Environmental Protection Agency
Branch: N/A
Contract: EP-D-06-047
Agency Tracking Number: EP-D-06-047
Amount: $70,000.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Solicitation Topic Code: N/A
Solicitation Number: N/A
Solicitation Year: N/A
Award Year: 2006
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): N/A
Award End Date (Contract End Date): N/A
Small Business Information
7606 Eastmark Dr., Suite 102, College Station, TX, 77840
DUNS: 184758308
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Richard McAloney
 Research Scientist
 (979) 693-0017
Business Contact
 G Hitchens
Title: Vice President
Phone: (979) 693-0017
Research Institution
Harmful algal blooms (HABs) occur in aquatic environments when conditions trigger an increase in the abundance of organisms that produce toxins. The toxins are transferred through the food web where they affect and even kill zooplankton, shellfish, fish, birds, marine mammals, and possibly humans. HABs have been estimated to cost the U.S. economy as much as $50 million per year due to the closure of fisheries, recreational waters and beaches, and the treatment of human illness from exposure to toxins. Early detection of blooms and rapid response to such events is the most effective way to mitigate the impact of HABs. The official methods to test for HAB toxins are the ¿mouse bioassay¿(MBA) and HPLC, respectively. These methods are generally laborious, time-consuming, and require expensive laboratory equipment. Currently there are no real-time, stand-alone monitoring devices to test for the presence of biotoxins from HABs. Lynntech will develop and inexpensive, rugged, reagentless, and real-time detection system for shell fish toxins in seawater. The versatility and arraying ability of the proposed technology will enable detection of a multitude of toxins and pathogens (e.g. cyanobacteria) in fresh or ocean water. Lynntech¿s proposed technology is based on diffraction-based sensing that utilizes the changes in diffracted light intensity upon the absorption of a target onto specific areas of a patterned surface of antibodies. The specific recognition and the use of diffraction detection eliminated the need for any secondary labled-antibodies, reagents, and is quantifiable. In Phase I, Lynntech will develop the proposed sensor technology for the detection of various brevetoxins from the dinoflagellate Karenia Brevis, a common species associated with HABs. The subcontractor, Dr. Baden, from the University of Norch Carolina at Wilmington, is a brevetoxin expert and the major work supplier of brevetoxins and brevatoxin antibodies. In Phase II, an alpha generation system will be assembled and incorporated into the Texan Automated Buoy System (TABS) in collaboration with Dr. Lisa Campbell form the Department of Oceanography at Texas A&M University The main commercial application of this proposed research is for coastal monitoring of HAB biotoxins for health and safety. The potential exists to produce and sell hundreds of thousands of sensors to monitor the US coastline and worldwide sales could reach into the millions. The technology is easily amenable to detecting pathogens further enhancing the commercialization potential in the food safety and water monitoring markets.

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

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