SBIR Phase I: Robust Molecular Sensors for Trace Mercury Detection

Award Information
Agency: National Science Foundation
Branch: N/A
Contract: 1113373
Agency Tracking Number: 1113373
Amount: $150,000.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2011
Solicitation Year: 2010
Solicitation Topic Code: BC
Solicitation Number: N/A
Small Business Information
MetalloSensors
615 Arapeen Dr., Suite 310, Salt Lake City, UT, 84108-1254
DUNS: 961531824
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Yanke Che
 (801) 581-7792
 yanke.che@utah.edu
Business Contact
 Yanke Che
Phone: (801) 581-7792
Email: yanke.che@utah.edu
Research Institution
 Stub
Abstract
This Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase I project will develop new sensor materials for detection of trace mercury in water systems, based on a patent-pending technique licensed by MetalloSensors. This technique at its current stage provides both high sensitivity (with detection limit as low as in sub ppb) and selectivity (against other common coexisting metal ions), demonstrating promise for future development into portable, easy-to-use devices for onsite water monitoring of mercury. It is the goal of this Phase I project to develop the new generation of sensor molecules that are suited for water assays, while still maintaining the unique sensing features as achieved for the current version of sensors. These new molecules will be incorporated into a prototype detecting device through a series of tests and optimization. The broader/commercial impacts of this research are two-fold: first, it will help MetalloSensors verify the technical feasibility of manufacturing cheap, portable, easy-to-use, but accurate fluorescence-based detectors, suitable for expedient mercury monitoring in water environments; second, the innovative products of MetalloSensors will offer strong market competition over the traditional bench-top instruments, which are usually expensive and complicated to operate. A substantial, sustainable market exists for the innovative mercury detectors as evidenced by the increasing need of water analysis and global concern of mercury pollution. The current US market size for mercury detection was estimated as $0.25B/year, while in China the market size can be as large as $1.5B/year, and this figure is expected to grow significantly in the future.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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