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STTR Phase I: Robust, portable holographic imaging for label-free analysis of blood samples in the field

Award Information
Agency: National Science Foundation
Branch: N/A
Contract: 1346349
Agency Tracking Number: 1346349
Amount: $225,000.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: STTR
Solicitation Topic Code: BC
Solicitation Number: N/A
Solicitation Year: 2013
Award Year: 2014
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2014-01-01
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2014-12-31
Small Business Information
1312 Dollar Ave., Durham, NC, 27701-1120
DUNS: 963402388
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Matthew Rinehart
 (919) 886-1863
Business Contact
 Matthew Rinehart
Phone: (919) 886-1863
Research Institution
 Duke University
 2200 W. Main St, Suite 710
Durham, NC, 27705-
 () -
 Nonprofit college or university
This Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Phase I project seeks to develop a novel holographic microscope system for examining cytological samples, such as blood smears, at the point of care. Current blood cell analysis techniques require manual examination by expert technicians, resulting in a costly and time-consuming test. The project proposes to develop a compact, portable, inexpensive, and easy-to-use wide field digital holographic microscope for automated screening of blood and cell samples. In this unique microscope design, optical fidelity and alignment are achieved through the use of an interferometric sample chamber, which produces holographic images of cell samples with simple laser illumination. The objectives of this project are to build a prototype microscope with low-cost chambers capable of imaging 1 million cells in 5 minutes. The broader impact/commercial potential of this project is as new tool for detection of diseases such as malaria. Even with recent advances, malaria is a significant health concern with 300-500 million cases each year and 1-3 million deaths, 90% of which occur in impoverished regions in sub-Saharan Africa with the majority of the cases occurring in young children. The proposed holographic microscope can provide rapid diagnosis for far less expense than manual examination of blood smears, while improving on the accuracy of comparably priced antigen based tests. The commercial opportunity is significant both in the U.S. and abroad. Malaria detection is the first target; there are additional opportunities for detection of other blood based diseases as the technology develops.

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

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