Detection of Explosive Materials Using an Encapsulated Fluorescent Bioprobe

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Army
Contract: W9132V-06-C-0027
Agency Tracking Number: A064-025-0256
Amount: $100,000.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: STTR
Awards Year: 2006
Solicitation Year: 2006
Solicitation Topic Code: A06-T025
Solicitation Number: N/A
Small Business Information
P.O. Box 80010, Austin, TX, 78708
DUNS: 022552900
HUBZone Owned: Y
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: Y
Principal Investigator
 Joel Tabb
 (607) 272-0002
 jtabb@agavebio.com
Business Contact
 Noe Salazar
Title: President
Phone: (512) 671-1369
Email: nsalazar@agavebio.com
Research Institution
 UNIVERSITIES SPACE RESEARCH ASSOC.
 Randy Vander Wal
 USRA c/o The NCSER
Cleveland, OH, 44135
 (216) 433-9065
 Nonprofit college or university
Abstract
The use of explosives over the last 100 years has left up to 16,000 military ranges contaminated with highly toxic compounds. A major challenge to the remediation of these ranges is identifying the location of persistent explosive residues. To meet this challenge, Agave BioSystems in collaboration with Universities Space Research Agency (USRA) proposes to develop an encapsulated fluorescent bioprobe for detection of explosive materials. Encapsulation of the bioprobe will rely on porous silica nanoparticles, which will provide a matrix for the probe and enhance its environmental stability by allowing chemical agents of interest to enter while leaving the bioprobe impervious to other compounds and pH fluctuations. Detection will rely on a displacement immunoassay that results in fluorescence in the presence of explosives. Dye-labeled anti-TNT antibody fragments will provide fluorescence, and antibody fragments will be attached within porous silica nanoparticles. In the absence of TNT, the TNT quencher analogue will bind to the dye-labeled antibody fragments, preventing fluorescence. When TNT is present, the TNT quencher analogue will be displaced, removing the fluorescence quenching effect. The Phase I effort will focus on encapsulating the bioprobe and detecting 2,4,6-trinitrotoluene (TNT).

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

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