Rapid, Specific, Sensor System for Pathogens in Water
Environmental Protection Agency
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Small Business Information
3921 Academy Parkway North NE, Albuquerque, NM, 87109
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged:
AbstractThere is an important need for a water-monitoring technology that is capable of detecting a wide range of microbial and viral pathogens and their toxins. TPL, Inc., proposes an instrument system that could be used both in the laboratory or in the field for analyzing water quality for a wide range of contaminants, including microbial pathogens, Cryptosporidium, and viral pathogens. The sensor system will be based on new technology under development by TPL and its research partners at the University of New Mexico. That technology will use protein molecules as probes for microbial and viral targets. The protein molecules used provide the system with an extremely high level of specificity and sensitivity for the pathogens of interest. The probe proteins will be covalently bound to a micromachined sensor (or array of sensors), making the sensor durable and reusable. During operation, a stream of water or a water sample will be introduced to a test chamber in the water analysis instrument, where the aqueous sample comes in direct contact with the sensor. The analysis system will perform the desired analysis and output data concerning the type and concentration of analyte (e.g., pathogen) detected. The system does not rely on delicate laser detection systems or low levels of fluorescent light. The sensor will utilize an extremely sensitive microelectronic gravimetric device, known as an acoustic plate mode (APM) device. The proposed sensor can measure surface adsorption in either liquid or gas phase with picogram sensitivity and millisecond response time. High-speed digitization and digital signal processing techniques will be used to deconvolute the data contained in the APM acoustic wave modes generated by the sensor.
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