Novel Toxicity Sensor using Genetically Engineered, Permeabilized, Freeze-Dried Bacteria
Department of Defense
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Small Business Information
Agave BioSystems, Inc.
P.O. Box 100, Ithaca, NY, -
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged:
AbstractField testing of water samples is needed for broad and sensitive detection of toxic industrial chemicals, or TICs. The use of unicellular organisms in cell-based detection systems is particularly advantageous both because these organisms have developed a natural ability to respond to environmental changes, and because several methods for long-term storage with minimal maintenance requirements have been established and tested. Long-term storage of packaged freeze-dried cells with no need for significant environmental controls such as temperature eliminates limitations in the development of a rugged field-deployable device perfectly adapted to logistical requirements in a military setting. The need for a toxicant of interest to cross the natural barriers such as cell walls or membranes is perhaps the only significant limitation to the detection capability of any cell-based system. This will be addressed as part of the proposed effort by testing known genetic and biochemical approaches to the permeabilization of the bacterial cell wall to develop novel biosensors with broader and more sensitive detection capabilities.
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