Engineering Magnetic Nanoparticle for Advanced Biosensor Signal Processing and Detection of Waterborne Pathogens

Award Information
Environmental Protection Agency
Award Year:
Phase I
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Small Business Information
nGimat Co
5315 Peachtree Industrial Blvd., Chamblee, GA, 30341
Hubzone Owned:
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged:
Woman Owned:
Principal Investigator
 Niel Hartman
 (678) 287-2408
Business Contact
 David Smith
Title: Chief Finalcial Officer
Phone: (678) 287-2451
Research Institution
nGimat proposes an advancement of the versatile integrated optic chip sensor for detection/identificaton of waterborne bacterial and viral pathogens, and toxins. nGimat will utilize magnetic nanoparticles to enable an advanced signal processing scheme that promises the enhanced optical biosensor detection sensitivity (sub-ppb). The fabrication of the necessary magnetic nanoprticles will be facilitated by nGimat's proprietary Nanospray(SM) process. The state-of-the-art nanopowders will be taylored in size (ultrafine and nonodisperse), compostiion (comples if necessary), and architecture (coated, shape) for sensor performance. The incorporation of magnetic nanoparticles is project to enable a 10(2) to 10 (4) increase in detection sensitivity. Specifically, a magnetic field will be utilized to induce nanoscale displacements of tethered magnetic particle immobilized on the waveguide surfece. The displacement will induce a phase shift in the output of a waveguide interferometer that will be utilized to discriminate noise from the collected signal. nGimat expects the proposed technology to build on the base optical sensor and be capable of real-time, direct detection (no labeling, additional chemistry steps or reagents) of multiple biomolecules (proteins, toxins, nucleic acids) in the femtolar concentration range and pathogens (bacteria, viruses) at concentrations of <100 organisms/ml. Performance at this level would place the technology well ahead of existing and emerging sensing methodologies and position it to be competitive with sophisticated laboratory analytical tools. If successful, nGimat's approach will satisfy the need for a compact field intrument that combines rapid, real time detection with the necessary high sensitivity and simple-to-use operation. The World Health Organization has stated that infectious diseases are the world's largest single contributor to human mortality and many are waterborne. The impact of this problem creates of a sensor market that is projected to worth approximately $100 million. Much more dramatic than actual sensor sales market is the economic benefit that could result from preventing productivity losses due to illnesses caused by waterbourn pathogens. Key to improving safety and minimizing economic loses resuting from infectious water borne diseses is the development of monitoring equipment suitable for detedcting and identifying naturally occurring waterborne bacterial, viruses and toxins, as well as biowarfare agents. Unfortunately, portable monitoring systems that are easily operated by untrained personnel are either not available or do not have the requisite sensitivity and response required. nGimat's sensor technology has tremendus potential to fill this need.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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