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34 Phase I Selections from the 02.1 Solicitation

(In Topic Number Order)
ILLUMIGEN BIOSCIENCES INC.
200 West Mercer Street, Suite E-407
Seattle, WA 98122
Phone:
PI:
Topic#:
(206) 378-0400
Dr. Shawn P. Iadonato
CBD 02-100      Selected for Award
Title:Molecular Signatures of Biological Pathogens
Abstract:This proposal is in response to a request for applications from the Chemical and Biological Defense program. Illumigen Biosciences Inc. proposes a series of experiments to explore the utility of using DNA microarrays as a tool to detect gene expression changes that are diagnostic of exposure to biological agents. The ultimate goal of a combined Phase I and II project will be to develop a database that enables the rapid diagnosis (before the onset of symptoms) of exposure to infectious agents in troops in the field. In this Phase I proposal, proof of concept will be evaluated. A study population of thirty subjects will be monitored to describe normal within-individual and between-individual variation in gene expression in proliferating lymphocytes. In addition, each subject will be monitored over a period of six months, and changes in gene expression in response to normally encountered infectious agents will be observed. An emphasis will be placed on the study of upper respiratory tract infections. Expression array data will be correlated with a specific pathological agent using standard diagnostic testing procedures. The Phase I Option Period will be used to develop a database and data analysis methods that enable a larger-scale study in Phase II. A database will be developed that enables correlation of changes in gene expression in blood with exposure to specific biological agents. This database will be essential to develop tools for testing troops for exposure to biological agents in warfare. This database may also be used to develop or enable development of diagnostic tests for civilian clinical laboratory uses.

SUN BIOMEDICAL TECHNOLOGIES
1539 N. China Lake Blvd, PMB#2
Ridgecrest, CA 93555
Phone:
PI:
Topic#:
(760) 447-0681
Dr. Guck Ooi
CBD 02-100      Selected for Award
Title:Molecular Signatures of Biological Pathogens
Abstract:The early genomic responses of human peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) to in vitro infection with specific microbial pathogens will be assessed by DNA microarray technology. Host gene expression "signature" to microbial pathogen exposure and distinct host responses will be characterized. Detailed in vitro studies will permit forecasting/predicting expected early molecular markers of in vivo infection with biological warfare agents of high interest with regards to bioterrorism threats (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [CDC] Category A biological agents). Phase I will evaluate differential immune response of PBMCs to Bacillus cereus, Bacillus subtilis, and Escherichia coli and will validate in vitro studies by evaluating in vivo immune responses to Bacillus anthracis vaccinations and Escherichia coli urinary tract infections. Investigation of other pathogens to generate a comprehensive database of human genomic response to various types of Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria and viruses will be undertaken in Phase II in a larger group of subjects at multiple sampling times after infection. Our company goals and plans are to develop a biomedical sensor (or sensors), a field kit or other device for rapid detection of early differential immune responses (lymphokines, cytokines, or other serum markers) to specific microbial pathogens. Understanding the human genomic response to specific infections and identification of key molecular markers will allow rapid detection of human exposure to specific microbial pathogens and biological warefare agents to allow early intervention. These findings will enable development of biosensors to rapidly detect early human exposure to biological agents which will have tremendous utility both within the DOD and the private sector (both nationally and internationally).

BIOMACHINES INC.
507 Airport Blvd.,, Suite 107
Morrisville, NC 27560
Phone:
PI:
Topic#:
(919) 459-6393
Dr. Xue-Feng Wang
CBD 02-101      Selected for Award
Title:Sensitive Molecular Beacons (MB) Based DNA Microarray
Abstract:The DNA microarray is a powerful new technology that can be applied to the detection of biological warfare agents. For the detection of multiple agents, tremendous challenges lie ahead for the DNA microarray technology regarding on sensitivity, selectivity, reliability and consistence. The central theme of this proposal is to apply and optimize a newly developed DNA probe: Molecular beacons (MB) to DNA microarray applications. MBs are a new class of oligonucleotides that have extremely high sensitivity and selectivity with single base mismatch identification capability. Unlike current methods, MB based DNA microarray is pre-labeled DNA probes so that users will not need to label sample DNA. In addition, MB based DNA microarray will not be affected by non-target DNA samples because MB has fluorescent signals only when hybridizations occur. By applying MB based DNA microarray, the current DNA microarray problems can be significantly improved so that PCR-less DNA detection is possible for real BW situations. The proposed research will capitalize upon all of unique properties for MB and for the first time to assemble MB based DNA arrays. Biomachines will build a prototype MB DNA array system which will be: i) highly sensitive; ii) highly selective; iii) resistant to interference by materials present in biological samples; and iv) resistant to interference or contamination by non-target DNA or DNA fragments. We believe MB based DNA Microarray format will find wide range of biomedical applications in the areas of genomics and proteomics research, pharmaceutical discovery, clinical diagnostics and biological warfare applications.

GENEXPRESS INFORMATICS INC.
PO Box 200759
Austin, TX 78729
Phone:
PI:
Topic#:
(512) 659-4539
Dr. Robert Chin
CBD 02-101      Selected for Award
Title:Automated Preferential Display for the Analysis of Gene Expression Profiles
Abstract:GeneXpress Informatics, Inc. (GXI) and Dr. James P. Chambers of UTSA propose to develop a revolutionary differential gene display technology, called Preferential Display (PD) which will provide for a simplified, cost-effective method to identify these genes for use in discovering gene expression profiles without having any prior knowledge of an organism, tissue or biological samples' genome. The technology utilizes a combination of biomolecular chemistry methods to eliminate redundant sequences and fluorescence dye assay to identify and isolate these unique sequences. In Phase I, GXI and Dr. Chambers propose to develop and demonstrate the PD technology by identifying unique gene sequences expressed by different cell or tissue types. In Phase II, GXI will develop PD benchtop high throughput system for rapid isolation and identification of unique gene expression profiles. Also included in the Phase II will be a lab-on-chip implementation of the PD technology for a future handheld biosensor application. GXI's Preferential Display is a breakthrough technology which is used to identify unique gene expression sequences of these cellular changes thus providing potentially new age related drug targets to pharmaceutical company end users.

VITRUVIUS BIOSCIENCES
1544 Sawdust Rd., Suite 406
Spring, TX 77380
Phone:
PI:
Topic#:
(281) 367-2626
Dr. Belosludtsev
CBD 02-101      Selected for Award
Title:Development of Array-Based Universal Biosensing Devices Based Upon Intelligent Oligonucleotide Probe Sets
Abstract: Abstract not available...

NANO INTERFACE TECHNOLOGY, INC.
8390A Terminal Road
Lorton, VA 22079
Phone:
PI:
Topic#:
(703) 981-6377
Dr. Chittaranjan P. Singh
CBD 02-102      Selected for Award
Title:Self-Assembly Assisted Production of Nontoxic Obscurants
Abstract:The present obscurants used in the smoke are in the range of submicron to micron-size. Recent theoretical calculation suggests that the ideal obscurants will be conducting nanorods having diameter of 20 nm and length of 4 micron. Nano Interface Technology, Inc. (NITI) proposes to develop monodispersed metal-coated silica nanorods of above size using self-assembly technique. The core of silica nanorods will be developed by the self-assembly of lipids/phospholipids/surfactants. These lipids/phospholipids are obtained from biological system. The nanorods will be made conducting by the electroless coating of the metal. Using self-assembly technique, NITI has successfully synthesized core silica nanorods having diameter of 32nm and length in micron size and the preparation method can be reliably used for synthesizing larger quantities. The thin coating of metal will oxidize easily and the inner core of silica will be nontoxic. In the Phase I feasibility study, the company will synthesize various sizes of metal-coated nanorods (diameter = 20-40nm and length = 2-4 micron) and its physico-chemical properties will be characterized. The multi-spectral range of the smoke can be broadened by mixing nanorods having different aspect ratios and/or different types of metal coatings. We at NITI have worked out that the proposed obscurants will be highly economical because of its production via the self-assembly route. Father, owing to the use of the self-assembly route, the nanorods produced will be monodispersed with a yield as high as 95%. In the Phase II, the company will optimize the production process and nanorods will be produced in kilogram quantities. The packaging of nanorods in the tape form will be worked by an innovative approach as discussed in the proposal so as to enhance the efficient delivery of obscurants along with smoke. The proposed innovative self-assembly technique will significantly reduce the cost of obscurants and as predicted in the recent calculations, this technique will be most effective in threat reduction. Further, it will broaden the multi-spectral range, simplify storage, and transport. The potential benefits to the Army will be significant in saving life of force and reduction in the cost of smoke generation and dissemination. The other potential application of these nanorods will be as ultra-light, nano-structured ballistic materials.

PHYSICAL SCIENCES INC.
20 New England Business Center
Andover, MA 01810
Phone:
PI:
Topic#:
(978) 689-0003
Dr. Mitchell R. Zakin
CBD 02-102      Selected for Award
Title:Smokes Originating From Biological Materials
Abstract:Smokes for electromagnetic obscuration are important in military operations. With the advent of the September 11 terrorist attacks in New York City, increased attention is being focused on the urban environment as a potential target for terrorist activities, including dispersal of biological warfare agents (BWA). There is a critical need for materiel that can perform multiple functions over a broad range of environments. Such capability will reduce both logistical burden and cost. This Proposal addresses the development of a bio-derived multifunctional smoke material that provides effective obscuration in the 3-14 m region of the infrared (IR) spectrum, and whose constituent particles can bind and detect BWA. The proposed material can be sprayed onto surfaces to detect biological (or chemical) contamination, serve as a probe for forensic assays, or function as a BWA-specific capture surface for environmental sampling. In Phase I, the smoke material will be synthesized, produced as a free-flowing powder, and used to demonstrate an extinction cross-section alpha >=700 m2/cm3 at 3-14 m. Detection of BWA simulants will be demonstrated using the smoke particles. In Option tasks, material production will be scaled up to larger quantities, and detection of BWA simulants at medically-relevant levels will be demonstrated. The proposed multifunctional material has multiple military and civilian applications, including: IR obscuration, forensic assays for BWA-derived species, BWA-specific capture surfaces for environmental monitoring (homeland defense), tissue imaging, pharmaceutical screening, and protein structural analysis.

SEASHELL TECHNOLOGY LLC
3252 Holiday Court Suite 227
La Jolla, CA 92037
Phone:
PI:
Topic#:
(858) 638-0316
Dr. Steven Oldenburg
CBD 02-102      Selected for Award
Title:Smokes Originating From Biological Materials
Abstract:We propose a new type of military smoke that is based on the optical properties of selectively designed, yet low cost, fabricated nanoscale components. These smokes will have a strong extinction in the visible and infrared regions of the spectra, but can also selectively block or let pass specific wavelengths of light. Such a smoke can be designed to have a field-selectable transmissive window that allows for an obscured area to be visible only at particular wavelengths. Biological systems will either create the metallic structures directly or be used as templates for subsequent fabrication of the nanoparticles. The composition of the constituent nanoparticles will be optimized to reduce toxicity and environmental impact, allow for easy and inexpensive fabrication, and provide a high extinction military smoke. Development of military smokes and obscurants using biological systems or templates will provide an inexpensive, scalable, non-toxic, self-replenishing solution for the production of military smokes. The developed smoke will allow both military and civilian operatives the ability to select and utilize smokes with a desired transmission window for specific applications (defensive or offensive field deployment, crowd control, hostage situation) and conditions (amount of available light, terrain, weather, dust, etc.).

INMAT LLC
216 Route 206, Suite 7
Hillsborough, NJ 08844
Phone:
PI:
Topic#:
(908) 874-7788
Dr. Harris A. Goldberg
CBD 02-103      Selected for Award
Title:Improved Chemical Protective Gloves Using Elastomeric Nanocomposites
Abstract:InMat will develop multilayer chemical protective gloves (CPGs) that provide the function currently provided by several separate gloves. The key material in these gloves is aqueous nanocomposite elastomeric coatings specifically optimized for this application. Butyl rubber is used in chemical protective equipment because of its low permeability. On the other hand, it has several deficiencies as a protective glove. It is not resistant to petroleum oils and lubricants nor to flames. Soldiers often wear petroleum oil resistant gloves over butyl rubber gloves when petroleum oils and chemical hazards might be encountered. Cut resistant gloves, and cotton liners are also often recommended. All this reduces the soldier's manual dexterity. InMat has proprietary aqueous, non-hazardous, elastomeric barrier coatings which are 30-300 times less permeable than butyl rubber while still remaining flexible. These butyl rubber nanocomposite coatings are unique, and have already been commercialized in sports applications. InMat has achieved this success through its ability to control dispersion, orientation, and silicate-polymer interactions. We will build upon that technology to develop new chemical protective gloves that are also resistant to petroleum oils and flames, and that empower soldiers by improving their ability to perform manual tasks while protecting them from chemical warfare agents. We will develop chemical protective gloves (CPGs) with the following properties: Improved resistance to hydrocarbon solvents and petroleum based greases and oil Improved flame resistance Better barrier to chemical warfare agents without any increase in glove thickness. Adequate protection in a larger number of environments without requiring the use of multiple gloves. Better manual dexterity than using multiple gloves . Meeting the needs of the chemical and pharmaceutical industry. Manufactured with reduced volatile organic emissions.

METSS CORPORATION
300 Westdale Avenue
Westerville, OH 43082
Phone:
PI:
Topic#:
(614) 797-2200
Dr. Donald Bigg
CBD 02-103      Selected for Award
Title:Chemical Protective Gloves with Enhanced Properties
Abstract:METSS intends to develop both a material and a process for producing Chemical Warfare (CW) agent resistant gloves by using a nonsolvent dipping process. The gloves to be developed will have CW agent resistance at least equivalent to those of the current butyl gloves, but also will have improved resistance to petroleum-based solvents. Moreover, through the addition and dispersion of exfoliated nanoclays in the elastomer, the gloves will provide an improved level of fire retardance not present in the current gloves. METSS anticipates that the gloves will be made by dipping from an aqueous polyurethane emulsion, or by Liquid Injection Molding of a polyurethane formulation. Development of the specific molecular composition of the polyurethane to meet both the performance requirements and processing requirements form the core of the proposed program. Dipping of an aqueous emulsion has obvious advantages in being compatible with existing glove manufacturing and being environmentally benign. Liquid Injection Molding offers the potential for faster production rates and, because the molds are generally inexpensive, the opportunity for greater competition among more suppliers in making the gloves. Both processes represent an opportunity for cost savings relative to the solvent-dipped, butyl gloves. Gloves developed in this program will provide substantially more protection to military workers involved in areas contaminated by CW agents than the currently used butyl gloves. Specifically, the gloves will also represent a significant improvement in safety for workers handling hazardous solvents. This benefit has a large potential in non-military markets, as well. Hazardous waste workers, workers in chemical processing industries, fire fighters, emergency situation workers, electrical line workers, utility workers, laboratory workers, researchers, and many others that currently use rubber gloves could benefit from the improved chemical resistance of the gloves developed in this program. The environmental benefits of producing the gloves by a non-solvent forming process, rather than solvent dipping, are also quite significant. Molding the gloves without the use of solvents is a much more environmentally friendly process than that currently used. Besides gloves, there are a number of dual use applications for rubber products in which agent resistance and solvent resistance are desired. These include seals, gaskets, boots, diaphragms, belts, cable insulation, hoses, footwear soles, bladders, and other liquid containers.

PHYSICAL SCIENCES INC.
20 New England Business Center
Andover, MA 01810
Phone:
PI:
Topic#:
(978) 689-0003
Dr. Christopher M. Gittins
CBD 02-104      Selected for Award
Title:Remote Surface Contamination Sensor
Abstract:While stand-off detection of chemical and biological warfare (CBW) agents is a critical component of CBW defense, the military has no established capability for stand-off detection of liquid agents on surfaces. Low vapor pressure chemical agents such as VX can persist on surfaces and pose a lethal contact hazard many days after they are dispersed. The technical innovations to be demonstrated in Phase I will be hardware and software to enable Physical Sciences Inc.'s Adaptive Infrared Imaging Spectroradiometer technology to detect liquid contamination on surfaces as well as chemical vapor plumes. In order to facilitate data analysis and software development, we will develop physics-based models to predict and account for the infrared spectra of liquid-contaminated surfaces. The hardware and software developed in Phase I will be refined and integrated with an AIRIS unit in Phase II to provide the Army with a prototype sensor capable of detecting both liquid and vapor phase chemical warfare agent. The proposed program will lead to a single sensor for performing sensitive, selective stand-off detection of both liquid AND vapor phase chemical warfare agents. AIRIS's imaging and adaptive spectral sampling capability will enable wide areas to be surveyed more rapidly than with conventional stand-off sensors, e.g., imaging and non-imaging FTIR and grating spectrometers. In addition to military applications, the proposed sensor will be useful for surface contamination/composition measurements in industrial environments as well as for screening of biological samples (biopsied tissue) for medical applications.

SPECTRAL IMAGING LABORATORY
7653 Airlie Drive
Tujunga, CA 91042
Phone:
PI:
Topic#:
(818) 354-1299
Dr. Francis Reininger
CBD 02-104      Selected for Award
Title:Thermal Infrared Surface Contamination Sensor
Abstract:A thermal infrared imaging spectrometer is proposed for the remote detection of surface contaminants. The instrument will use pulsing lasers to vaporize liquids while it scans the target scene generating 3D spectral-images. The instrument will be pre-programmed with a library of contamination filters that can automatically identify contaminants that could be present in any of the image pixels. The instrument is expected to weigh less than 15 pounds and be deployable on a number of platforms. Key attributes include ruggedness, reliability, and high efficiency. Will provide the Army with a low cost, chemical detection imaging spectrometer that can be deployed on a variety of platforms. Can provide city governments with means to monitor air pollution while simultaneously monitoring the possible release of chemical agents in public places. Can be used by the medical industry to detect cancer or to detect arterial soft-plaque buildup.

SOLULINK, INCORPORATED
6310 Nancy Ridge Dr., Ste. 101
San Diego, CA 92121
Phone:
PI:
Topic#:
(858) 625-0670
Dr. David Schwartz
CBD 02-105      Selected for Award
Title:Novel Conjugation Sites for Antigen Binding Reagents
Abstract:This project proposes to cost effectively prepare scFv or Fab antibody fragments that have been modified to site-specifically incorporate stable linkable moieties that will allow their conjugation to reporter molecules and surfaces without comprising the biological function of the binding site of the antibody fragment. The ready availability of technologies to prepare these antibody fragments with stable linkable moieties will allow manufacture of instruments for the sensitive detection and quantification of analytes present in both biological and non-biological samples. We propose to engineer the proprietary hydrazine/carbonyl bioconjugation couple developed by Solulink to accomplish this task. As monoclonal antibodies (MoAbs) are expensive to manufacture and typically involve complex mammalian cell culture systems the use of transgenic expression systems, especially plants, can reduce these costs dramatically but they are unproven and take many years of development to produce just one antibody. Additionally, the manufacturing cycle for both mammalian cell culture and transgenic systems is long and involved. On the other hand, bacterial expression systems for the manufacture of scFvs and Fab antibody fragments are both inexpensive and quick to develop. A viable E. coli fermentation system can be designed, engineered and developed in just a few days. Versatile, robust technologies for the production of antibody fragments that can be readily modified to incorporate site-specifically modified linkable moieties that do not compromise the binding affinity of the protein will be extremely important. These reagents will be beneficial for both attachment to reporter molecules as well as immobilization on surface such as beads and slides. Ready availability of these conjugates may lead to more sensitive ELISA assays. Furthermore these reagents can be incorporated on hand-held microfluidic devices for field detection of biological analytes of interest. This type of sensitive hand-held device could be developed for military, commercial and clinical uses.

ADVANCED SENSOR TECHNOLOGIES, INC.
27970 Orchard Lake Rd., Suite 6
Farmington Hills, MI 48334
Phone:
PI:
Topic#:
(248) 539-0867
Dr. Hal C. Cantor, Ph.D.
CBD 02-106      Selected for Award
Title:Lightweight Biosensor Badge to Monitor Environmental Organophosphates
Abstract:The US Joint Services, Federal Agencies, and state and local First Responders have expressed dissatisfaction with currently employed organophosphate (OP) sensors. They have identified the need for a new generation of sensors that is small, light-weight, and easy to use while being capable of extended operations in rugged environments. Advanced Sensor Technologies proposes to address these issues with its miniaturized, organophosphate alert device (MOPAD), a device that not only meets the stated objectives but is also capable of identifying the particular conformation of OP in the environment and alerting the wearer of its presence. The MOPAD takes advantage of the phenomenon that OP's effect cholinesterase enzyme activity. By continually monitoring cholinesterase reaction kinetics, the particular type and concentration of the OP can be determined. Unlike current sensors, the MOPAD will be capable of monitoring OPs in non-vapor environments, i.e. in soil samples, liquids, solids, etc., via absorption into the contained test medium. The proposed technology will see widespread application in both civilian and military markets. Beyond the set of users identified in the solicitation, this device could also be used by farmers (to monitor exposure to fertilizer), and individuals that apply pesticides and/or lawn fertilizers, etc. The proposed technology will see widespread application in both civilian and military markets. Beyond the set of users identified in the solicitation, this device could also be used by farmers (to monitor exposure to fertilizer), and individuals that apply pesticides and/or lawn fertilizers, etc.

LUNA INNOVATIONS INCORPORATED
2851 Commerce Street
Blacksburg, VA 24060
Phone:
PI:
Topic#:
(434) 972-9951
Mr. Thomas A. Wavering
CBD 02-106      Selected for Award
Title:Yeast-Based Biosensor for Organophosphate Detection
Abstract:There exists a military and homeland security need for rapid, accurate and sensitive methods for the detection of organophosphates in cluttered environments. For this Phase I program, the Luna Innovations team proposes to create receptors targeted against organophosphate targets. These receptors can be easily, cheaply and rapidly modified to defeat countermeasures. The ability of these receptors to activate transcription in response to the target will be exploited in a yeast-based biosensor. Yeast are an extremely hardy organism able to survive temperature extremes and desiccation for long periods of time and, therefore, are ideal to use as the basis of a whole cell biosensor. The Luna team has previously engineered yeast to fluoresce under long UV light upon target binding. The yeast could also be engineered so that in response to the target, a signal transduction cascade is activated that leads to an easily and rapidly measured parameter, such as a change in membrane potential. The Luna team is both qualified and motivated to build upon their combined demonstrated abilities to develop and commercialize this revolutionary technology. Research concerning whole cell biosensors will yield immediate applications in 1) chemical/ biological agent detection, 2) mine detection, 3) drinking and wastewater monitoring, 4) large-scale, high-speed testing in the medical field, 5) chemical analysis, and 6) intelligent process monitoring of advanced materials. The technology demonstrated during the proposed Phase I program will allow Luna to capture a significant share of the initial target market segment through Luna's proven ability to transfer products from research to market.

SEMOREX, INC.
c/o Anthrogenesis Corporation, 45 Horsehill Road
Cedar Knolls, NJ 07927
Phone:
PI:
Topic#:
(973) 267-8200
Dr. Bernard S. Green
CBD 02-106      Selected for Award
Title:Improved Field Biosensor for Organophosphates
Abstract: Abstract not available...

SENSERA, INC.
200 Turnpike Road
Chelmsford, MA 01824
Phone:
PI:
Topic#:
(978) 606-2600
Mr. Senerath Palamakumbura
CBD 02-106      Selected for Award
Title:Improved Field Biosensor for Organophosphates
Abstract:Sensera Inc. proposes to develop ultra thin sensor coating fabrication technique for fast responding, selective and reusable sensors fabrication. This technique is easy to carryout, cheap and do not require expensive chemical conjugation steps. The proposed sensor fabrication method take into account the challenges imposed by different sample matrices. The sensors can be made to operate in two signal transduction modes. We use two OP sensitive enzymes so that a wider array of organophosphates could be detected with certain degree of qualitative identification. In Phase 1 we will develop above sensor strips for organophosphate detection in air water and soil. They will be made to operate in two transduction modes. In phase I option we will develop sensors to detect agent degradation products in water as well as to further develop field identification capability. The proposed sensor strips are an economical way to check water courses and farmlands to ensure that pesticide usage does not result in ecological damage. They can be used to check contamination in food industry to check fresh produce. Most importantly they can be used to check any accidental or deliberate contamination of bulic places and water sources.

ASHWIN-USHAS CORPORATION, INC.
206 Ticonderoga Blvd.
Freehold, NJ 07728
Phone:
PI:
Topic#:
(732) 462-1270
Dr. P. Chandrasekhar
CBD 02-200      Selected for Award
Title:Enhanced, Unique Microwave Methodologies for Remediation of CW and BW Agents and Medical Waste
Abstract:In a collaborative effort with one of the pre-eminent microwave chemistry research groups in this country, this project offers novel and simple approaches to kg-scale microwave remediation of three types of hazardous wastes: Chemical warfare (CW) agents; Biological warfare (BW) agents; and infectious medical waste. The unique microwave methodologies to be applied include: For CW agents, unique hydrolysis and heterogenous oxidation methodologies developed in our labs and demonstrated successfully with a variety of relevant organic substrates; for BW agents, unique remediation procedures demonstrated in our labs very recently for anthrax-like bacteria and related methodologies; for infectious medical waste, an array of a combination of methods demonstrated in our labs and more effective than extant shred-steam-and-microwave methods; and for all three waste types, an additional array methods selected from microwave-induced organic reaction enhancement (MORE) techniques pioneered and refined in our labs and especially apt for the targeted remediations. The Phase I work will demonstrate the viability of the techniques for each of the above three waste types, scale up to a medium (100 g) scale, and select the microwave configuration and equipment to be used for further studies. If proven successful, due to substantial cost savings, a major section of the hospital waste disposal market would be driven to the new technology, a substantial market since more than 4.5 million tons of such wastes are disposed of in US hospitals annually. Remediation of large stockpiles of DoD CW/BW agents, currently expensive and suffering from lack of funds, is also a major market. If marketed as a service with equipment costs met by the customer, the business will be highly profitable. Besides this, MORE chemistry has much potential in many chemical industry processes currently using heat.

PARAGON SPACE DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION
810 East 47th Street, Suite 104
Tucson, AZ 85713
Phone:
PI:
Topic#:
(520) 903-1000
Mr. Grant A. Anderson
CBD 02-201      Selected for Award
Title:Diver Worn Equipment for Diving in Chemical/Biological, Toxic Industrial Chemical and Toxic Industrial Material (TIC/TIM)
Abstract:Recent events have highlighted the need to protect divers in working environments that have been contaminated with biological or chemical toxins and/or other hazardous materials (HAZMATs). Paragon Space Development Corporation (PSDC), with extensive experience in space suit design and diving systems, has completed preliminary engineering and design work for a demand regulator and exhaust valve system. The proposed system completely isolates the breathing gas system from the contaminated environment. Further, it provides continuous monitoring of all critical seals and can provide warning of a breach anywhere in the diving suit. PSDC proposes to conduct laboratory and field evaluations to demonstrate that their Regulated Surface Exhaust (RSE) System, including the helmet interfaces, do not permit contaminants to enter the breathing loop. Phase I investigations will include evaluation of candidate components and subsystems, engineering optimization of the proposed design, and prototype development. RSE testing with the UBA MK 21 MOD 1 diving helmet will occur in Phase II. In Phase III, we will test a fully demonstrated and documented RSE system (production design) with the UBA MK 21 MOD 1. All phases will include investigation for chemically hardening the helmet and helmet/suit interface prior to diving, and decontaminating the system after exposure. The proposed system affords complete isolation of the breathing gas system from the contaminated environment. Further, the system provides for continuous monitoring of all critical seals and can provide responsive warning should a breach occur anywhere in the diver's life support system. Commercial divers have the same requirements to dive in contaminated environments, as does the military. The ability to keep a diver safely and effectively on the job is a bottom line concern for the commercial diving industry. Technology applications may also be relevant to other commercial applications such as aerospace, homeland defense, HAZMAT response, environmental cleanup, etc. As proof of concept matures, PSDC will identify component suppliers and system integrators / manufacturers to produce a commercial variant to the RSE.

CREARE INC.
P.O. Box 71
Hanover, NH 03755
Phone:
PI:
Topic#:
(603) 643-3800
Dr. James J. Barry
CBD 02-202      Selected for Award
Title:Advanced System for Clothing Swatch Testing
Abstract:The current methodology for testing the penetration resistance of textile materials to various chemical agents has a number of drawbacks, including significant uncertainties in the resulting data, inefficiency and expense, risk to test personnel, and limited range of test conditions. The objective of the proposed work is to develop a new system for testing of these materials that remedies these problems by incorporating real-time sampling, automated sample changing and agent challenge, and precise control of test conditions. In Phase I, key aspects of the system design will be developed and demonstrated using simulants. During Phase II, the full system will be developed and tested using live agent. The proposed swatch test system will dramatically improve the accuracy and repeatability of penetration measurements as well as improve the throughput and range of test conditions and reduce the cost of the tests and personnel exposure to agents. It will provide immediate benefit to the large-scale testing laboratories that serve defense and homeland security needs as well as offer improvements for research and development into improved protective materials.

SENSOR RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION
17 Godfrey Drive
Orono, ME 04473
Phone:
PI:
Topic#:
(207) 866-0100
Mr. Dean Smith
CBD 02-202      Selected for Award
Title:Improved System and Methods for Evaluating Protective Material Performance to Chemical Agents
Abstract:Sensor Research and Development Corporation (SRD) proposes to develop an Automated Measurement of Breakthrough in Real-time (AMBR) prototype to test chemical protective materials. AMBR will increase the safety, efficiency, and sample throughput for fabric tests while improving data quality and expanding test capabilities. SRD will develop AMBR by integrating proven solid-state chemical agent sensor technology with commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) robotic sample delivery and environmental control systems. AMBR will improve current test operating procedures and allow direct comparison of solid-state sensors to legacy permeation detectors. Existing fabric test methods are labor intensive, require too many steps, are not reproducible, and provide limited data without real-time capability. AMBR will measure a time-resolved permeation profile of chemical breakthrough over a wide dynamic range on multiple fabric swatches simultaneously. Improved data quality will offer a better understanding of the chemical/physical properties of current chemical agent suits and influence the design of future protective fabrics. This understanding is critically needed to ensure the safety of soldiers and "first responders" (firemen, policemen) under chemical attack. SRD will resolve environmental chamber and gas delivery issues under Phase I and deliver an automated field-tested prototype with detailed operating procedures and performance data at the end of the SBIR program. SRD intends to sell AMBR workstations to government agencies and licensing fees, engineering services, and parts to the private sector for testing of chemical agent and hazardous material suits, and related permeability measurement testing (e.g. ASTM Standards F739 and F903). Commercial markets for testing of laboratory gloves, aprons, medical gowns and masks, "waterproof" materials and other related permeation tests can be easily addressed by selecting appropriate sensors. With further development, AMBR technology could also be transferred to in-suit personal safety monitors and gas mask filter bed serviceable lifetime monitors.

ADA TECHNOLOGIES, INC.
8100 Shaffer Parkway, Suite #130
Littleton, CO 80127
Phone:
PI:
Topic#:
(303) 792-5615
Mr. Patrick D. French
CBD 02-203      Selected for Award
Title:MEMS RF-IMS-based Monitor for Personal Exposure Monitoring
Abstract:Chemical warfare agents (CWAs) offer a particularly insidious threat to both military and civilian populations. The U.S. DOD uses a series of tools at the troop level including individual detection, point detection, and standoff detection to warn of CWA attack. These technologies are prone to various problems, including scuffs, lack of selectivity, and lack of sensitivity to gas-phase CWAs. Of particular interest to the Army under this SBIR solicitation is a lightweight, wearable device for detecting and alerting the wearer of low-level exposure to Chemical Warfare Agents and high priority Toxic Industrial Compounds, TICs. ADA Technologies proposes under this multi-phase SBIR project to develop and demonstrate a miniature device that would identify, measure, and log low-level exposure to CWAs and TICs along with basic environmental parameters such as temperature and humidity. The device will be robust, lightweight (under 1 lb.), and highly selective to multiple compounds. The unit will incorporate 1) the appropriate alarms (audible and silent), 2) self-diagnostics and 3) night vision compatible display. The enabling sensor technology is a High Field Radio Frequency Asymmetric Waveform Ion Mobility Spectrometer. This technology lends itself well to miniaturization and is 1) highly selective and sensitive, and 2) has a linear calibration. Phase I success will set the stage for a Phase II prototype/field demonstration and ultimate Phase III commercial deployment. The Phase III device will be small, lightweight and capable of measuring CWAs, TICs and pollutants. These units could be used by 1) all branches of the U.S. military, 2) U.S. allies, and 3) civil defense agencies. The device would also be useful in many EPA and atmospheric chemistry applications. In Phase III, our commercialization partner, Smith Industries, will introduce this new product to the military as part of their "Chemical and Biological Detection Systems" product line. Smith Industries, formerly known as ETG, is a defense contractor with several CWA detection products and the capability to manufacture and support military hardware. Smiths Industries will also be active in both the Phase I and II efforts.

CYRANO SCIENCES, INC
73 N. Vinedo Avenue
Pasadena, CA 91107
Phone:
PI:
Topic#:
(626) 744-1700
Dr. Mike Vicic
CBD 02-203      Selected for Award
Title:Multi-TIC Colormetric Badge
Abstract:Wearable, passive detectors for toxic industrial chemicals (TICs) and chemical warfare agents (CWAs) will greatly improve the safety of military personnel operating in chemically-threatened environments. Cyrano Sciences, Inc. (CSI) uses polymer-composite sensor technology to construct sensor arrays, that are uniquely positioned to address applications, such as detector badges for TICs and CWAs, that require compact, light-weight, wearable, rugged, stable, low-cost, low-power, analyte-general detectors. CSI manufactures the Cyranose 320 (C320), a COTS handheld vapor identification system that consists of: a polymer-composite sensor array that returns a signature pattern for a given vapor; a pneumatic system; and pattern recognition algorithms to identify the vapor based on the array pattern. The C320 has been successfully tested as a detector for a small number of TICs and CWAs. In addition, CSI has developed wireless badge-type detectors without pneumatic systems for proprietary consumer applications that have stringent requirements for size, cost, power requirements and ruggedness. The proposed Phase I work will determine the feasibility that a badge detector using a polymer-composite sensor array can meet requirements for detection limit and accuracy of appropriate CWAs and TICs, and will also develop design requirements and a preliminary design for such a badge detector. This type of personnel monitor has readily extensible application in the emergency response market place and homeland defense. Further commercialization could result in monitors for widespread marketing to the general public.

ELTRON RESEARCH, INC.
4600 Nautilus Court South
Boulder, CO 80301
Phone:
PI:
Topic#:
(303) 530-0263
Dr. Ross C. Thomas
CBD 02-203      Selected for Award
Title:Field-Deployable Monitor for Chemical Warfare Agents
Abstract: Abstract not available...

ADA TECHNOLOGIES, INC.
8100 Shaffer Parkway, Suite #130
Littleton, CO 80127
Phone:
PI:
Topic#:
(303) 874-8275
Mr. Patrick D. French
CBD 02-204      Selected for Award
Title:Modular Micro-Environmental Pod System for Situational Awareness
Abstract:A suite of modular, rugged, easily deployable, field maintainable sensor pods capable of acquiring weather, chemical warfare agent, pollution, geographic and seismic data that can be tailored for multiple missions would provide essential battlefield intelligence. These sensor pods would auto-network together to relay spatially and temporally stamped data back to a central hub with little user set-up. The variably configured sensor pods could be rapidly deployed by hand or aircraft. Data from the system could be fed to modeling software to obtain source attribution and determine meteorological conditions without having to rely on outdated ground force or satellite information. ADA Technologies proposes to develop a plug-and-play flexible system for multiple sensors that can be field configured to the mission requirements. In this Phase I SBIR, ADA will leverage two enabling technologies including a miniature self-networking sensor pod (the platform for communication and collection of meteorological data) and a MEMS Radio Frequency Ion Mobility Spectrometer (for CWAs and pollutants). The modular system would weigh a couple of pounds and measure CWAs, pollutants, meteorological parameters, GPS location and contain a radio modem for communications. In Phase II, other sensors such as micro-seismometers would be configured for plug-and-play attachment to the basic platform. Phase I success will set the stage for a Phase II prototype/field demonstration and ultimate Phase III commercial deployment. The product developed under this contract will be manufactured and distributed by our commercialization partner, Smiths Industries (formerly known as ETG). The product will be a battery-powered, hand-held, lightweight, low-cost and capable of measuring pollutants, CWAs, meteorological parameters (e.g., wind speed, wind direction, relative humidity, barometric pressure, air temperature, mean radiant temperature), seismic data, and locating itself via GPS. The system will not require special deployment record-keeping, nor does it require a GPS measurement during deployment; instead, the units will function autonomously. These units could be used by all branches of the military, U.S. allies, and in civil defense applications and non-warfare chemical/biological-hazard scenarios.

SPACE HARDWARE OPTIMIZATION TECHNOLOGY, INC.
7200 Highway 150
Greenville, IN 47124
Phone:
PI:
Topic#:
(812) 923-9591
Mr. Mark R. Ainsworth
CBD 02-204      Selected for Award
Title:Modular Environmental Situational Awareness Technology
Abstract:This proposal addresses the activities associated with the development of the Modular Environmental Situational Awareness Technology (MESAT), which is intended as an important part of the United States' response to a terrorist attack using chemical or biological weapons of mass destruction. The MESAT will be a suite of environmental, meteorological, geographic, and seismic sensors incorporated into a single package, and will be modular, mobile, easily maintainable, scaleable, capable of operating autonomously or in continuous communication with a base station, and will output data in a manner to prevent unauthorized access. This proposal defines the activities which will occur during the Phase I portion of the development effort, and includes the determination of the feasibility of such a system, the identification of the specific set of parameters to be monitored, an assessment of the current state-of-the-art in the applicable sensor technologies and mobile environmental monitoring stations, and the establishment of detailed requirements for the system. A breadboard design concept will also be developed during this phase. A final report will describe the activities and results of the Phase I effort, and will attempt to justify funding of Phases II and III, leading to the delivery of production MESAT units. As it has become clear in the last decade that the United States and its possessions, infrastructure, assets, and military installations are increasingly at risk to terrorist attacks using chemical or biological weapons of mass destruction, it has also become critical that a means be developed to monitor the environmental, meteorological, geographic, and seismic parameters which may dramatically affect the dissemination and lethality of the agents which may be released during such an attack. The MESAT will provide just such a means. It will represent an improvement over currently available mobile environmental monitoring stations, will operate in a variety of environmental conditions, will be small and light enough to be crew-portable, and will be upgradeable to minimize maintenance requirements and maximize flexibility. Its mobility, when combined with the capability to easily tailor the sensors incorporated into a specific MESAT according to the intended mission, will enable the MESAT to function as an important tool during the determination of the proper response to 1) a chemical, biological, or nuclear attack and 2) an accident at a chemical, biological, or nuclear production/storage facility or during the transportation of similar toxic materials. This rapid determination of the proper response to such an attack will potentially enable a significant reduction in the casualties which may be associated with these events. The ability of the MESAT to also detect meteorological conditions detrimental to air traffic will be useful on aircraft carriers and during site selection and flight operations at forward mobile military air bases. Finally, the MESAT can support fire suppression activities in forests and grasslands where a knowledge of the current meteorological conditions may be critical to the decision-making process, especially where fire fighter safety is concerned.

MORGAN RESEARCH CORPORATION
4811A Bradford Drive
Huntsville, AL 35805
Phone:
PI:
Topic#:
(256) 533-3233
Dr. Wayne Long
CBD 02-300      Selected for Award
Title:MOEMS Miniaturized Real-time Visible/UV Spectrometer
Abstract:This Phase I SBIR proposal is for the initial development of a miniaturized real-time visible/UV spectrometer based on micro-opto-electro-mechanical systems (MOEMS) technology. Use of MOEMS technology enables orders of magnitude reductions in size, weight and power from the smallest spectrometers commercially available today and virtually assures exceeding stated corresponding SBIR requirements. The proposed approach capitalizes on recent MORGAN Research Corporation experience in developing precise placement, alignment and motion control of miniature optical components on MOEMS chips for infrared (IR) spectrometer detection of chemical/bio agents on mobile platforms such as US Army Unmanned Ground Vehicles (UGVs). The proposed baseline optical design extends conventional Infrared (IR) spectroscopy to visible/UV spectral regions using this MOEMS technology. Investigations will include the development of optical solutions to achieving real-time operation made possible by MOEMS technology. The proposed Phase I Effort includes the assembly and testing of a miniature optical breadboard to validate design and tradeoff analysis, as well as, support estimates of per-unit costs and performance ratings. An initial MOEMS chip will be designed, fabricated and tested to validate actuator designs and to enable a smooth transition into a Phase II development of MOEMS based engineering prototypes(s). There are a large number of visible/UV spectrometers currently in use for a wide variety of applications including commercial, Department of Defense (DoD), NASA and in educational and research organizations. Many of these would be candidates for immediate, or attrition/upgrade replacement with a MOEMS based miniaturized real-time solution. In addition, the small size, weight and power requirements of such as system opens up many new potential applications previously not viable. These applications include hand-held or minimally invasive medical and emergency diagnostic instrumentation, chemical/bio agent scanning of public entrance areas, customs inspection, drug enforcement, fuel/chemical leak detection, ground/water/air contamination analysis/monitoring, oil-well and geological survey drilling, oceanographic investigations, as well as potential use in small satellites, unmanned rockets and space probes.

PHYSICAL OPTICS CORPORATION
20600 Gramercy Place, Bldg. 100
Torrance, CA 90501
Phone:
PI:
Topic#:
(310) 320-3088
Dr. Shui Lin Chao
CBD 02-300      Selected for Award
Title:Miniature Integrated Multi-Band Spectrometer
Abstract:Widespread concern about the prospects of chemical assaults has raised demand for a miniature low-power high resolution wideband spectroscopic sensor for real-time characterization and identification of chemical agent clouds and vapors. Current devices only cover narrow bandwidths, and hence require multiple modules to cover the UV, visible, and near IR spectral bands, increasing system weight, size, and complexity. To address this problem, Physical Optics Corporation (POC) proposes to develop a new compact, monolithic (no moving parts) miniature integrated multiband spectrometer (MIMS) capable of high spectral resolution over the spectral range from the ultraviolet to the near infrared. This unique performance is achieved by stacking a number of miniaturized one-dimensional planar spectrometers, one for each spectral band, to form a single 2-D spectrometer module. MIMS spectral resolution will be about 0.1 nm, its total spectral range about 600 nm (200-800 nm), its signal-to-noise ratio high, and its power loss budget low. In this Phase I project, POC will design this lightweight, compact 2-D spectrometer, analyze its performance, and verify the concept by experimental demonstrations. In Phase II, POC will further optimize the MIMS system and build a prototype to meet or exceed the performance requirements. POC anticipates that the proposed MIMS technology will benefit environmental monitoring and pollution control, manufacturing, and a broad range of portable low-cost instrumentation.

SPECTRAL IMAGING LABORATORY
7653 Airlie Drive
Tujunga, CA 91042
Phone:
PI:
Topic#:
(818) 354-1299
Dr. Francis Reininger
CBD 02-300      Selected for Award
Title:Miniature High Resolution Visible/UV Spectrometers
Abstract:Two miniature, high resolution imaging spectrometers are proposed for the remote detection of chemical vapors in the 200 - 800 nm band. One spectrometer uses a diffraction grating to generate a spectrum with a resolution of 0.39 nm. It can achieve a signal to noise ratio (SNR) that varies between 400 and 1000 in 20 msec. The volume of the spectrometer is expected to be less than 8.55 cubic inches. The other spectrometer is a spatial-heterodyne Fourier transform spectrometer that can generate a spectrum with a resolution of 2.5 cm^-1 (0.01 nm at 200 nm and 0.16 nm at 800 nm). The FT spectrometer is field widened, so it can open its entrance slit to increase its throughput. It can achieve a SNR that varies between 100 and 1300 in 20 msec. The volume of the FT spectrometer is expected to be less than 4.86 cubic inches. This research will provide the Air Force with two low cost, miniature chemical detection imaging spectrometers that can be deployed on a variety of platforms. The spectrometers can also be used by city governments to monitor air pollution while simultaneously monitoring the possible release of chemical agents in public spaces. It can be used by the medical industry to detect cancer or to detect arterial soft-plaque buildup.

SPECTRONIX
24 Robin Hill Road
Scarsdale, NY 10583
Phone:
PI:
Topic#:
(914) 912-4521
Dr. Kotik K. Lee
CBD 02-300      Selected for Award
Title:Miniaturized Real-time Visible/UV Spectrometer
Abstract:The miniaturized spectrometer presented in this proposal is a simple hand-held static Fourier-transform spectrometer for real-time detection and characterization of chemicals in rapidly changing and/or fast moving environments such as chemicals in clouds and vapor. The core of the system consists of a pair of mirrors and a line scan CCD array. The interferogram is generated in the spatial domain and recorded by the CCD array. By eliminating the moving parts and by using lightweight materials, the system can be miniaturized to a few cubic inches in volume and less than 100 grams in weight for use in the field, yet still provides high resolution ( 1 nm at 800 nm). The integration time is less than 25 ms. The proposed device will meet both the size and weight requirements, and can be low cost. Our projection indicates that the proposed device in production can cost considerably less than comparable devices presently on the market. In phase I, a working model using existing optical and electronic components will be constructed to demonstrate the capability of our design, to identify technical issues, and to formulate solutions for those issues. The compact low-cost Fourier-transform spectrometer has wide applications in real-time analyses of chemicals for automation in chemical, pharmaceutical, food, and petroleum industries and for environmental monitoring. The miniature system can be a stand-alone instrument and can also be incorporated into another system as a subsystem. When equipped with a miniature solid-state laser as the pump source, a compact low-cost Fourier-transform Raman spectrometer can be constructed which will find wide commercial applications in monitoring chemical and biomedical processes.

NIMITZ, INC. DBA ETEC
4500-B Hawkins Street NE
Albuquerque, NM 87109
Phone:
PI:
Topic#:
(505) 345-2707
Dr. Patrick M. Dhooge
CBD 02-302      Selected for Award
Title:Auto-regenerating Decontaminant Coating for Fabrics and Surfaces
Abstract:The Department of Defense Chemical and Biological Defense Program has a need for a highly effective, relatively low cost, low human toxicity coating or surface treatment that can be applied to fabrics and other surfaces to render them self-decontaminating to chemical and biological warfare agents. ETEC has identified a novel chemistry that promises to be a highly effective self-regenerating decontaminating agent at room temperature. The chemistry can be applied as an active coating or as a modification to cellulosic fibers. The novel agent will fully neutralize both chemical and biological agents, and it will have very low toxicity to humans. The Phase I effort will demonstrate the feasibility of this agent through preparation of the new chemistry on cotton cloth and as a coating on a metal substrate, decontamination effectiveness testing, and cost estimation. The Phase I effort includes selecting the best embodiments, determining decontamination effectiveness using simulated contaminants, developing the bonding and coating chemistry, estimating cost, and reporting results. Phase I will determine the feasibility of the novel chemistry. The result of Phase II will be two products, a self-decontaminating fabric treatment and a durable self-decontaminating surface coating. The benefits of the products will be greater operations efficiency and lower cost, better availability and increased life of equipment and clothing during CBW scenarios, and greater personnel safety. Potential commercial applications are for faster, easier, and more effective decontamination of certain types of medical equipment (particularly emergency and field equipment), equipment for civilian emergency response personnel, and perhaps hazardous materials response equipment. The estimated market is $50 - 500 million per year.

TDA RESEARCH, INC.
12345 W. 52nd Ave.
Wheat Ridge, CO 80033
Phone:
PI:
Topic#:
(303) 940-2355
Dr. William L. Bell
CBD 02-302      Selected for Award
Title:Catalytic Reactive Coatings
Abstract:The U.S. military must be prepared to operate in an environment contaminated by chemical or biological warfare agents. Commanders in the field cannot afford to abort missions and sideline materiel in the event that it is contaminated with chemical or biological weapons. Currently, chemically contaminated hardware is decontaminated either with the highly caustic and corrosive DS2 or with peroxide foam decontaminants. Either approach necessitates carrying sufficient decontaminant to forward bases and therefore presents an additional logistics burden. TDA Research, Inc. proposes to develop novel catalysts that will be incorporated into a broad-spectrum self-decontaminating coating, initially focusing on vehicle topcoats. These catalysts will be modified with additional functionality to enhance their dispersion and binding in the coating matrix. We will test the catalysts against analogs for chemical warfare agents, modifying the structure as required to optimize activity. We will then incorporate the catalysts into coatings and verify their activity in painted metal coupons. The catalytic detoxifying technology developed in this project will first be applied to military vehicle topcoats, allowing them to self-decontaminate with oxygen and moisture from the air. This will mitigate the logistics burden of forward troops since they would no longer require decontaminant solutions. Other applications for the same catalytic detoxification technology include architectural coatings for large building self-decontamination, and fabric coatings for personal protective garments and collective protection tentage.

SENSERA, INC.
200 Turnpike Road
Chelmsford, MA 01824
Phone:
PI:
Topic#:
(978) 606-2600
Dr. Bijan Radmard
CBD 02-303      Selected for Award
Title:Improved Filters for Chemical Warfare Agent Detectors
Abstract:Sensera, Inc. proposes to develop a filter that will allow more efficient passage of chemical warfare agents such as nerve agents while excluding liquid water and other contaminants. The proposed filter will be applicable to the JCAD and LCAD chemical warfare agent detection systems. Sensera's filter is superior to the PTFE type since it will not exhibit a "sticky" behavior towards nerve agents. The suggested phase I program will demonstrate the feasibility of the proposed filter material and will evaluate its performance in terms of permeability to nerve agent simulants. During Phase II, we will build filter assemblies and will test them using actual CWA detectors. The commercial applications for the sensors that would utilize the proposed filter include: hazardous material emergency response units, environmental pollution monitoring and cleanup, firefighter applications, hazardous gas detection in commercial and residential applications, and industrial monitoring of chemical plant operations.

OMNISITE BIODIAGNOSTICS, INC.
101 West Sixth Street, Suite 200
Austin, TX 78701
Phone:
PI:
Topic#:
(512) 479-7732
Dr. John G. Bruno
CBD 02-304      Selected for Award
Title:Aptamer-Enhanced Biorecognition Reagent System
Abstract:OmniSite BioDiagnostics, Inc. (OmniSite) proposes to develop DNA Aptamers to Bacillus anthracis (nonpathogenic Sterne strain) spores and staphylococcal enterotoxin B (SEB) by the SELEX process. Aptamers are less expensive than antibodies to produce, do not require animal hosts for production, can be protected from nucleases, and used in a variety of assay formats to replace antibodies. In Phase I, OmniSite will compare three different detection technologies using aptamers to the two targets; 1) aptamer-electrochemiluminescence (ECL using a borrowed Origen analyzer from IGEN, Inc.), 2) aptamer-fluorescence polarization (FP using OmniSite's breadboard reader), and 3) aptamer-fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET using a standard spectrofluorometer). At the conclusion of Phase I, OmniSite will downselect to one detection technology based on sensitivity data, assay performance, and ease of military field use. OmniSite's CTO and principal investigator, Dr. John Bruno is a recognized aptamer developer and innovator with numerous peer-reviewed publications in the areas of aptamers, ECL, and FRET as well as ample recent experience and SBIR awards involving aptamers and FP analysis. In Phase II, OmniSite will clone and sequence the aptamers as well as optimize and package the selected assays for facile field use with an off-the-shelf version of the chosen detector technology. The fusion of SELEX DNA Aptamer assay technology with the proposed detection technology will result in better assay performance (improved sensitivity and dynamic range) for chemical and biological warfare (CBW) agents as well as clincally and environmentally relevant analytes. These imporvements will place OmniSite is a strong position to compete in the CBW, clinical diagnostic and environmental monitoring arenas.