SNP-based Desktop Biometric Device for Rapid, Low-cost Verification of Identity and Kinship and Confirmation of Identity by Physical Traits

Award Information
Agency: Department of Homeland Security
Branch: N/A
Contract: NBCHC090036
Agency Tracking Number: 0911018
Amount: $99,037.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2009
Solicitation Year: N/A
Solicitation Topic Code: N/A
Solicitation Number: N/A
Small Business Information
Parabon Nanolabs, Inc.
11260 Roger Bacon Drive, Suite 406, Reston, VA, 20190
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Steven Armentrout
 (703) 689-9689
Business Contact
 Paula Gawthorp-Armentrout
Phone: (703) 689-9689
Research Institution
DNA has the potential to provide vast amounts of biometric information. However, the current method of analyzing DNA - which produces biometric signatures from sequences of "junk" DNA called short tandem repeats (STRs) - falls far short of realizing this potential. STR signatures are information-poor and the technology required to produce them is terminally incapable of supporting fast, automated analysis. In particular, electrophoresis, an essential step in the readout of STRs, has inherent time, size and reproducibility limitations that prevent its use for rapid, low-cost biometric verification. Parabon NanoLabs proposes to overcome these limitations by using single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs - pronounced "snips") to form biometric signatures. An easy-to-use, desktop biometric device is proposed, based on a novel "SNP chip," that reads designated SNPs to produce information-rich biometric signatures. It uses these signatures to automatically verify identity and kinship in less than one hour at a cost of under USD 50. The resultant SNP signatures will also provide physical trait information, such as hair and eye color - a capability not possible with STRs. The proposed technology can be further miniaturized to produce a high-speed, handheld biometric device having enormous commercial value across the homeland security, law enforcement, and defense industries.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

Agency Micro-sites

US Flag An Official Website of the United States Government