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Robust DNA Taggant Reader for Electronics Counterfeit Prevention

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Defense Microelectronics Activity
Contract: HQ072722C0002
Agency Tracking Number: 21-1K3
Amount: $1,099,999.26
Phase: Phase II
Program: SBIR
Solicitation Topic Code: DMEA201-001
Solicitation Number: N/A
Solicitation Year: 2022
Award Year: 2022
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2021-12-08
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2023-12-14
Small Business Information
6201 East Oltorf St. Suite 400
Austin, TX 78741-1111
United States
DUNS: 100651798
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: No
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: No
Principal Investigator
 Elizabeth Ledwosinska
 (512) 389-9990
Business Contact
 Michael Mayo
Phone: (512) 389-9990
Research Institution

Defense MicroElectronics Activity (DMEA) seeks to develop a robust technique to sample and read DNA taggants applied to surfaces of microelectronics supply chain components that employs machine learning methods to develop trained models capable of detecting counterfeit microelectronic parts with > 95% accuracy. To address the need for rapid (< 5 minute) genetic taggant signature profiling rooted in learned model inference vs. discretized, conventional genetic sequencing, Nanohmics Inc. proposes to develop an electronic model (eSIM) method based on a novel sensing array, with rapid DNA fingerprint signature determination. Specifically, the method involves incorporation of a novel matrix that provides real-time, multiplexed, electrical readout at the earliest stages of differential DNA migration across the axis of a chip-scale channel. Unlike traditional end-point optical read-out of fluorescently DNA,  the eSIM platform aims to be significantly lower cost than current NGS systems because the read-out is compact and does not require a high-resolution optical subsystem. Machine Learning/AI algorithms will be employed to create a trained model for the signature, thus enabling detection of the DNA fingerprint from the model that employs techniques based on fragment length analysis, a well-established method used by the FBI in DNA forensics.

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

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