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Rapid and Low-Cost Field Toxin Analysis to Monirot Harmful Algal Blooms

Award Information
Agency: Department of Commerce
Branch: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
Contract: WC-133R-15-CN-0073
Agency Tracking Number: 15-1-031
Amount: $94,996.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Solicitation Topic Code: 8.1.2N
Solicitation Number: N/A
Solicitation Year: 2015
Award Year: 2015
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2015-09-03
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2016-03-03
Small Business Information
89 Rumford Ave, Newton, MA, 02466-1311
DUNS: 066594979
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Avni Argun
 Senior Program Scientist
 (781) 529-0581
Business Contact
 Cortney Mittelsteadt
Title: Vice President of Technology
Phone: (781) 529-0529
Research Institution
During the harmful algal blooms (HAB), marine algal toxins reach concentrations high enough to cause various neurological and gastrointestinal disorders through inhalation of the toxin or consumption of contaminated shellfish. Brevetoxins, produced by dinoflagellate Karenia brevis, are known to disrupt neurological processes to cause an illness called neurotoxic shellfish poisoning. The timely recognition of this toxin in marine environment is thus of great importance for human health. However, the toxic levels of brevetoxin are on the order of parts-per-billion (ppb), making its detection very difficult and costly using the current analytical methods and biological assays. Furthermore, the correlation of the brevetoxin levels with the amount of K. brevis is not straightforward, further complicating the assessment of conditions dangerous to humans. This project aims to develop a low-cost, handheld electrochemical sensor device that will enable measurement of brevetoxin levels with high sensitivity while lowering the field detection limits down to sub ppb levels via utilization of an analyte concentration method. An accurate assessment of sample toxicity will be demonstrated by combining the brevetoxin levels with toxic K. brevis cell amounts using a single detection platform that is simple.

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

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