STTR Phase I: Microelectrochemical Detection for Multiple Allergens

Award Information
National Science Foundation
Award Year:
Phase I
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
Solicitation Topic Code:
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
535 West Research Blvd, Fayetteville, AR, 72701
Hubzone Owned:
Minority Owned:
Woman Owned:
Principal Investigator:
Zoraida Aguilar
(479) 571-2592
Business Contact:
Mark Wagstaff
(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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