Award Information
Agency: Department of Health and Human Services
Branch: N/A
Contract: 1R43AI052508-01
Agency Tracking Number: AI052508
Amount: $100,000.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2002
Solicitation Year: N/A
Solicitation Topic Code: N/A
Solicitation Number: N/A
Small Business Information
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 (208) 324-7522
Business Contact
Phone: (208) 324-7522
Research Institution
DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): A Phase I project to improve collection and detection of low-level biocontamination is proposed. By utilizing a more efficient surface and air sampling collection system (Air-Microbial-Vac TM/AMV), low-level pathogen contamination of large surface areas in U.S. mail and food supplies can be tested. Early stage development and validation testing of this unique hand-held, dry-vacuum sampling system will be conducted in Phase 1 for higher efficiency collection and safer containment of collected pathogens. A similar wet-vacuum system, recently developed in our lab, has demonstrated 2-10 times higher recoveries of Escherichia coil and Bacillus subtilis (Anthrax surrogate) from liquid-rinsed, diverse porous surfaces. Using these established basic principles, the feasibility of designing and building specialized sampling heads (S/H) for the AMV system will be tested for rational application and collection of B. subtilis spores from porous surfaces such as envelopes and cardboard boxes. Mail privacy and suspect crime evidence will be maintained by development of large hypodermic needle-like S/H's, designed to collect internal air and surface microbes within sealed envelopes and other penetrable mail packages or I luggage. Separate S/H designs will be built and tested for larger, flat surface areas of water-sensitive materials, such as air-duct fitters, circuit or keyboards. Concentration of collected microbial samples within the AMV unit will improve laboratory microbial detection accuracy. Development of formulated microbial stress-reduction retention liquid is also proposed to permit long-term monitoring of broad or point air sources. Re-aerosolization of collected pathogens in airflow exhausts is prevented by a patented airflow design. Phase II R&D is expected to finalize the AMV collection system development and test the practicality of coupling it with liquid or solid phase rapid detection methods. Commercialization of this combined, field-ready pathogen monitoring system is envisioned for improved HazMat team response efforts for protection of military and civilian personnel.

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

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