Handheld FRET-Aptamer Sensor for Water Safety

Award Information
Agency: National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Branch: N/A
Contract: NNX10RA78P
Agency Tracking Number: 094145
Amount: $99,985.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2010
Solicitation Year: 2009
Solicitation Topic Code: X2.03
Solicitation Number: N/A
Small Business Information
4100 N.W. Loop 410, San Antonio, TX, 78229-4253
DUNS: 154088710
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 John Bruno
 Principal Investigator
 (210) 731-0015
Business Contact
 Judson Miner
Title: Research Director
Phone: (210) 731-0015
Email: jay.miner@otcorp.com
Research Institution
Operational Technologies Corporation (OpTech) proposes to expand its current NASA Phase 2 SBIR handheld fluorometer and bone marker fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET)-DNA aptamer assay system to include detection of bacteria, fungi, and parasites that may contaminate astronauts' water supplies. For Gram positive bacteria, teichoic acids and peptidoglycan will serve as targets. For Gram negative bacteria, common lipopolysaccharide moieties such as 2-keto-3-deoxyoctanate (KDO antigen) will be targeted for aptamer development. Similarly, for fungi, cell wall chitin will be used to select highly specific FRET-aptamers from a randomized DNA library. Parasites such as Cryptosporidium and Giardia will require more specific whole cell or surface protein aptamer selection approaches, but OpTech has recently demonstrated detection of 30 E. coli bacteria per ml using such an approach under NSF Phase 1 SBIR funding. Prototype assays will be lyophilized in plastic cuvettes and capped under vacuum or otherwise sealed to prevent opening in negative pressure environments. Lyophilization with trehalose or other excipients will extend shelf-life to greater than 2 years for these rapid (15 minute) one step (homogeneous) FRET assays that will be quantified with an ultrasensitive commercial handheld fluorometer. Data can be displayed on the handheld reader and downloaded to a laptop computer.

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

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