Electrokinetic-based Microfluidic Universal Sample-Preparation (EMUS) Platform

Award Information
Department of Defense
Defense Threat Reduction Agency
Award Year:
Phase I
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
Solicitation Topic Code:
DTRA 09-002
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
CFD Research Corporation
215 Wynn Dr., 5th Floor, Huntsville, AL, 35805
Hubzone Owned:
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged:
Woman Owned:
Principal Investigator:
Ketan Bhatt
Research Engineer
(256) 327-0666
Business Contact:
Deborah Phipps
Senior Contracts Specialist
(256) 726-4800
Research Institution:
OBJECTIVE: To develop a process to universally extract and prepare samples in the field that will be made available to a detector for rapid detection and notification. DESCRIPTION: It should be noted that sample preparation is not synonymous with purification or even enrichment, although both are extremely rigorous preparation methods. For the biological defense community, sample preparation can be considered a process in which analytes of interest are removed from interfering chemicals and materials present in a sample and treated to insure availability to the detection technology employed. Current technologies are "either-or" solutions, focusing on immunoassay and PCR/molecular techniques of analysis, both of which are used in fielded DoD platforms. No single platform to date has the capability to serve as a universal sample preparation technology simultaneously isolate proteins (immunoassay) and nucleic acids (PCR/molecular analysis). An additional current limitation is the lack of a suitable platform to deal with a wide variety of environmental samples capable of removing inhibitors of analysis, such as enzymatic inhibitors, irreversible binding agents of analytes/reagents, and particulates that foul fluidics, instruments, and cartridges. PHASE I: In Phase I of a SBIR project we are seeking a novel and verifiable approach to developing a universal extraction and preparation process such that field analysis and identification can be rapid and timely (i.e. on-site analysis by immunoassay or PCR in less than one hour with minimal logistical burden) for the warfighter and/or first responders. PHASE II: In Phase II of a SBIR project we are seeking the demonstration of the method and the concomitant protocol and/or instrumentation for the approach. This is characteristically described as a reduction to practice type of project that the extraction and preparation procedure can be demonstrated as useful and verifiable with a myriad of sample types and analytical procedures. PHASE III DUAL USE APPLICATIONS: In Phase III of a SBIR project a series of blind challenge samples would be tested at both the awardees laboratory as well as the governments medical and physical sciences laboratories. The round robin testing would be designed to verify the methods and approaches developed by the awardee. REFERENCES: 1. Lichtenberg, J., N. F. de Rooij, E. Verpoorte. 2002. Sample pretreatment on microfabricated devices. Talanta 56: 233-266. 2. Rose, L., B. Jensen, A. Peterson, S. N. Banerjee, and M. J. Arduino. 2004. Swab materials and Bacillus anthracis spore recovery from nonporous surfaces. Emerg. Infect. Dis. 10: 1023-1029. 3. Tsai, Y. and B. H. Olson. 1992. Detection of low numbers of bacterial cells in soils and sediments by polymerase chain reaction. Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 58: 754-757.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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