Xenopus Melanophore-Based Toxicity Sensor for Water

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Army
Contract: W81XWH-07-C-0107
Agency Tracking Number: A074-030-0323
Amount: $99,999.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: STTR
Awards Year: 2007
Solicitation Year: 2007
Solicitation Topic Code: A07-T030
Solicitation Number: N/A
Small Business Information
AGAVE BIOSYSTEMS, INC.
P.O. Box 80010, Austin, TX, 78708
DUNS: 022552900
HUBZone Owned: Y
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: Y
Principal Investigator
 Theresa Curtis
 Senior Scientist
 (607) 272-0002
 tcurtis@agavebio.com
Business Contact
 Noe Salazar
Title: President
Phone: (512) 656-6200
Email: nsalazar@agavebio.com
Research Institution
 NORTHWESTERN UNIV.
 Jamie Young
 Rubloff Building 7th Floor
750 North Lake Shore Dr.
Chicago, IL, 60611
 (312) 503-7911
 Nonprofit college or university
Abstract
Deployed armed forces often have to rely on water that is produced from decentralized sources, which presents significant difficulties for assuring the water is free of chemical toxicants. Analysis of these water supplies often requires complex instrumentation that is not practical for field use. An innovative alternative is the use of cell-based biosensors that can rapidly assess the general toxicity of the water sample and can be made field-portable. The use of living test organisms is a reliable way of measuring the biological impact or toxicity of unknown samples. Agave BioSystems has successfully demonstrated a broad-ranging water toxicity monitoring system using electrical impedance measurements across endothelial cell monolayers. While this system has proven sensitive to many chemicals of interest, the Army desires to extend detection capability to a broader class of toxicants including neurotoxins. Therefore, in collaboration with Dr. Vladimir Gelfand of Northwestern University and in consultation with Dr. Ethan Lerner of Harvard University, Agave BioSystems proposes to demonstrate that Xenopus melanophores can be used as a powerful field toxicity detection system for a wide variety of waterborne toxicants including neurotoxins.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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