STTR Phase I: Microelectrochemical Detection for Multiple Allergens

Award Information
Agency: National Science Foundation
Branch: N/A
Contract: 0611028
Agency Tracking Number: 0611028
Amount: $100,000.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: STTR
Awards Year: 2006
Solicitation Year: 2006
Solicitation Topic Code: BT
Solicitation Number: NSF 05-605
Small Business Information
535 West Research Blvd, Fayetteville, AR, 72701
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Zoraida Aguilar
 (479) 571-2592
Business Contact
 Mark Wagstaff
Phone: (479) 571-2592
Research Institution
 Univ of AR
 Ingrid Fritsch
 120 Ozark Hall
Fayetteville, AR, 72701
 (479) 575-6499
 Nonprofit college or university
This Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Phase I project will develop a self-contained microelectrochemical assay array for simultaneous and quantitative detection of allergens in dust such as dust mites, cat dander, and cockroach allergens. Allergies cause illness and disabilities that affect over 50 million Americans. Avoidance or reduction of environmental exposure to allergens is the first step in treatment. The future goal will be to produce an automated, sensitive, bench top, low-cost instrument, run by unskilled personnel, aimed at the physicians office. The product will fill a need between non-quantitative test strips and laboratory-based enzyme-linked immunosorbant assays (ELISAs). Self-contained, microelectrochemical detection allows analysis in ultra-small volumes with enhanced response times and sensitivity compared to ELISA. Multiple allergens in a vacuumed dust sample(s) from home or work provided by the patient would be quantified at the physicians office to assist in designing treatments and in making living environment modifications to manage allergy disease. Commercially, the technologys future market potential could be quite large, based on the number of homes that have occupants that suffer from asthma or allergies. A 5% change from severe to moderate asthma would save the U.S. about $1.4 billion a year in total costs. Productivity would also be regained at school and work where asthma contributes to more than 14 million missed school and work days annually. The ability to monitor indoor allergens in dust in a regular fashion would also lead to better understanding of clinically significant amounts and extent of exposure to them. Other applications of the technology include analysis of air samples that have low levels of allergens that cannot be detected by existing methods. This includes allergens from dust mites and cockroaches from air sampling in undisturbed rooms. The low detection limit of the technology may prove highly useful in analyzing these types of samples.

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

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