A Lateral Field Excited Organophosphate Pesticide Sensor

Award Information
Agency: Department of Agriculture
Branch: N/A
Contract: N/A
Agency Tracking Number: 2008-00217
Amount: $80,000.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2008
Solicitation Year: N/A
Solicitation Topic Code: N/A
Solicitation Number: N/A
Small Business Information
20 GODFREY DR, Orono, ME, 04473
DUNS: 126597348
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Lester French
 Senior Research Engineer
 (207) 581-2239
Business Contact
 Lester French
Title: Senior Research Engineer
Phone: (207) 581-2239
Email: lester.french@umit.maine.edu
Research Institution
This Small Business Innovation Research Phase I project will demonstrate the feasibility of developing a novel lateral field excited (LFE) sensor for use as an organophosphate pesticide sensor. The technical objectives of the proposed project are: 1) to determine the selectivity to phosmet of the LFE sensor coated with polyepichlorohydrin and porous films; 2) to determine if the sensor is capable of detecting phosmet in the presence of blueberry juice alone and in the presence of an additional interferent; 3) to develop a simple sampling protocol for use at production or processing facilities. The use of porous silica materials for filtration and concentration will be investigated with the goal of improving sensor selectivity toward the target pesticide of phosmet. To achieve these objectives Phase I work will demonstrate that the LFE sensor is a vast improvement over both standard quartz crystal microbalances (QCMs) and QCMs with modified electrode geometries. If feasible, the Phase I work will result in a sensor platform that is highly stable and optimized for organophosphate pesticides detection. Additionally, a sampling protocol and a package design will be realized. The successful completion of the proposed project will result in a sensor for organophosphate pesticides that is sensitive, portable, inexpensive, and easy to use. Mainely Sensors envisions that the proposed organophosphate pesticide sensing system can be used by farmers to help reduce their pesticide usage by monitoring pesticide levels on crops in situ. The sensor will allow for wider screening and testing of fresh fruits and vegetables in the marketplace for pesticide residues, reducing lag time to market. The U.S. government should be interested in this product as it would facilitate testing of foods imported from countries that may not have effective regulatory mechanisms in place to assure that pesticide levels remain below EPA tolerance levels. Finally with the growing importance of organic food the sensor will allow these food products to be checked to insure that there was no fraud or mislabeling of such products.

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

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