Improved Kit for Chemical Detection

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Army
Contract: DAAD1903C0080
Agency Tracking Number: A033-0045
Amount: $100,000.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: STTR
Awards Year: 2003
Solicitation Year: N/A
Solicitation Topic Code: N/A
Solicitation Number: N/A
Small Business Information
3636 Boulevard of the Allies, Suite B-17, Pittsburgh, PA, 15213
DUNS: 041791695
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Keith LeJeune
 (412) 209-7298
Business Contact
 Gary Ryker
Title: VP and CBO
Phone: (412) 209-7430
Research Institution
 Jim Peterson
 2012 Tollgate Road, Suite 206
Bel Air, MD, 21015
 (410) 306-8632
 Domestic nonprofit research organization
Agentase seeks Phase I STTR support to develop a kit of sensors for the detection of chemical weapons. The proposed effort builds upon an active program to develop chemical sensors based upon Agentase's patented enzyme-polymer biosensor technology. Workwill be conducted in two major areas. First, a prototype vesicant sensor will be crafted using similar approaches and techniques as those used in developing Agentase's existing nerve and blood agent sensors. Specifically, enzymes known to be susceptibleto inactivation via blister agents will first be tested for inhibition sensitivity toward alkylating agents and arsenic compounds using standard high throughput screening techniques. Effective substrate formulations and delivery systems will then beestablished for those target enzymes showing promise in sensor development. Substrates must be sufficiently stable for adequate shelf life and enable enzyme activity to be visually assessed. Viable enzyme / substrate combinations will be incorporatedwithin Agentase polymers and used in proof-of-concept demonstrations for chemical identification, including live agent validation. After identifying a viable vesicant sensor(s), a small kit will be designed to accommodate Agentase's nerve, blood, and theprototype blister agent sensors. The resulting kit will be simple to employ and shall have no logistical or power requirements. While there are products in the market that can presently be used to detect a variety of chemical weapons, those products tendto fall in one of two broad categories. The first type of product uses simple chemical approaches to detect agents via colorimetric techniques. Representative products include M256 kits, gas detection tubes, and paper detection products. These productsrange in complexity and price but are all highly susceptible to interference and are not compatible with on-line monitoring. The second product category includes more complex spectrophotometric and chromatographic equipment such as the CAM and portable IRdevices. Devices such as the portable IR can be less sensitive to chemical interference but are very expensive to purchase and maintain. Proper deployment of the unit also requires at least one highly trained operator. Effective utilization of theAgentase approaches will result in the development of CW/TIC sensors having the cost and simplicity the simple sensors combined with the sensitivity and interference resistance of the more expensive devices. These attributes combined with being portableand having continuous monitoring adaptability make the proposed Agentase sensors very attractive in many applications.

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

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