Detection of Explosive Materials Using an Encapsulated Fluorescent Bioprobe

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Army
Contract: W9132V-07-C-0017
Agency Tracking Number: A064-025-0256
Amount: $750,000.00
Phase: Phase II
Program: STTR
Awards Year: 2007
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
 Principal Scientist
 (607) 272-0002
Business Contact
 Noe Salazar
Title: President
Phone: (512) 656-6200
Research Institution
 Sophia Hill
 10211 Wincopin Circle ste 500
Columbia, MD, 21044
 (410) 730-2656
 Domestic nonprofit research organization
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 explosives residues. To meet this challenge, Agave BioSystems in collaboration with Universities Space Research Agency (USRA) is developing an encapsulated fluorescent bioprobe for in situ detection of explosive materials. The bioprobe developed uses a displacement immunoassay and fluorescence quenching to detect the presence of specific explosives residues. In the Phase I, a bioprobe was developed specifically for TNT (2,4,6-trinitrotoluene). This fluorescent bioprobe is encapsulated within novel nanoporous silica microspheres. Encapsulation within nanometer-sized pores in the microspheres provides a protective structure to stabilize the bioprobes and minimize environmental influences. Protecting the bioprobes from micron-sized clays and other materials present in soil will allow development of a robust and sensitive detection system. In the Phase I effort Agave BioSystems successfully demonstrated probe development, encapsulation, and detection of TNT. The Phase II effort will focus on scale up of materials, developing assays to detect multiple agents, and adapting the assay for stand-off detection of explosives residues under field conditions.

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

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