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25 Phase I Selections from the 03.1 Solicitation

(In Topic Number Order)
KUMETRIX, INC.
29524 Union City Blvd.
Union City, CA 94587
Phone:
PI:
Topic#:
(510) 476-0950
Dr. Wilson Smart
CBD 03-100       Selected for Award
Title:Amplified Biothreat Signature Detection Microarray
Abstract:The proposed work will develop a silicon microchip containing an array of synthetic globular DNA affinity recognition elements selected for binding pathogens, toxins, or other protein-based biothreats to enable their detection in the field. For readout, a "universal protein reagent" will be employed to covalently link a reporter enzyme to lysines on captured proteins, instead of antibody-enzyme conjugates used in ELISA. The first stage of signal amplification will be obtained by enzymatic reaction of a suitable substrate to produce a large number of electroactive product molecules. An enzymatic amplification factor of one million appears possible assuming that three enzyme molecules are linked to each analyte, the turnover number is 3,500 per second, and the assay time is 100 seconds. A second stage of electrochemical amplification will arise from cycling the electroactive product amperometrically between two oxidation states, yielding a combined amplification factor of ten million. Spatial resolution of the array elements will be provided by using MEMS (microelectromechanical systems) technology to isolate each element in its own microcuvette, each containing microelectrodes. The chip will contain microfluidics capable of flowing the sample, wash, and reagent liquids through all microcuvettes, and the electrical outputs will provide unique biosignatures characteristic of specific threat agents. This system, consisting of a hand-held instrument and low cost disposable silicon microchips, will enable detection, identification, and quantitation of biothreat agents in the field. The exquisite sensitivity to low levels of infectious agents and toxins provided by the unique affinity elements in the microarray combined with dual signal amplification (enzymatic and electrochemical) is also applicable to products for clinical and research applications.

MESOSYSTEMS TECHNOLOGY, INC.
1001 Menaul NE, Suite A
Albuquerque, NM 87107
Phone:
PI:
Topic#:
(505) 314-8100
Dr. Ihab Abdel-Hamid
CBD 03-100       Awarded: 25AUG03
Title:Amplification of Molecular Signals
Abstract:The goal of the proposed research is to develop a highly sensitive and specific amplification system that can be coupled to any pathogen detection and quantification unit for sensitive real-time detection of biological warfare agents. The system is built around a dual-enzyme substrate-recycling electrochemical amplification system coupled to an immunoassay detection technology that has already been proven at a benchtop scale. The specific aims of this effort are: 1) Fabrication and testing of a bi-enzyme electrochemical amplification module in a microfluidic format. 2) Optimization of the various parameters affecting the performance of the amplification system. 3) Demonstration of real-time detection of a model biological warfare simulant such as Bacillus globigii. There are two long-term goals after successful completion of this project. One is integration of automated sample collection utilizing MesoSystems' core technology in aerosol collection and particle concentration. The second is multiplexing of real-time detection using a more sophisticated microfluidic cartridge. The incorporation of both of these advances will produce an inexpensive, handheld unit that can sample the air in any environment and perform rapid, sensitive detection of any biological particles. The proposed amplification system will be capable of rapidly quantifying the presence of extremely low concentrations of a biological agent in a short amount of time. This product, the simplest version of a potential family of products, would itself be a highly marketable product. Areas of use include emergency response to a possible biological warfare threat and in microbiology laboratories. The system proposed here would be faster, cheaper, and more portable than most other detection schemes, including PCR.

TPL, INC.
3921 Academy Parkway North, NE
Albuquerque, NM 87109
Phone:
PI:
Topic#:
(505) 344-6744
Mr. Stephen Summers
CBD 03-100       Selected for Award
Title:Amplification of Molecular Signal Using Highly Stabilized Acoustic Wave Devices
Abstract:U.S. forces require rapid, early and accurate pathogen detection systems designed for use in extreme combat situations. Numerous options to deliver weaponized pathogens drives the necessity for U.S. forces to have technology to detect infectious pathogens. TPL has conceived a unique methodology for amplifying the presence of a pathogen without multiplying physical number of pathogens. TPL proposes using our highly stabilized acoustic wave sensor system that significantly reduces or eliminates inherent susceptibility to various interferents (temperature, shock, internally and externally generated spurious noise, etc) to detect the biomolecular amplification cascade. Combined, these two innovations address the most critical issues in pathogen detection. In Phase I, TPL will demonstrate the feasibility of these two critical elements in a biosensor instrumentation system. The biomolecular amplification technique will be verified. The ability of the biosensor to detect the amplification agents will be confirmed. The P.I. is responsible for the development of the highly stabilized acoustic wave sensor overcoming environmental sensitivities, which have plagued similar sensor developments. TPL will continue its collaborative relationship with the staff at the University of New Mexico's Health Science Center in the use of this sensor for biochemistry-related measurements. The major commercial application of the proposed amplification of molecular signal using highly stabilized acoustic wave sensor will be in the rapid, early and accurate infectious pathogen. Safeguarding all urban office and commercial facilities of high priority in the United States. These types of pathogen detection systems could be used in a mobile hand held units or could be used as fixed installations where large groups of people pass through. The number of this type of sensor system that could be sold to government and private companies could conceivably be in the hundreds of thousands.

SENSERA, INC.
200 Turnpike Road
Chelmsford, MA 01824
Phone:
PI:
Topic#:
(978) 606-2600
Dr. Erik Handy
CBD 03-101       Selected for Award
Title:Chemical and Biological Sensors with Synthetic Recognition Sites
Abstract:Sensera, Inc. proposes to develop novel, high stability optical sensors for the detection of biological and chemical warfare agents (BWAs/CWAs) and toxic industrial chemicals (TICs). The recognition groups of these sensors will be based on Molecularly Imprinted Polymers (MIPs) and MicroOrganism Imprinted Polymers (MOIPs). MIP/MOIPs pores will provide a robust size and surface chemistry discriminatory matrix. Sensera's sensors offer an optical as opposed to the traditional gravimetric transduction, and are more selective to analytes making them less prone to interference. During Phase 1 of this project, Sensera will develop proof-of-concept organophosphate MIPs and bacterial MOIPs. This will lay the foundation for the development of further CWA and TIC MIPs and endospore and viral MOIP sensors during Phase 2. In Phase 2 we will also construct actual prototype sensor arrays based on the concept. These sensors will monitor both air and water for the presence of biological and chemical contaminants. Sensera's MIP/MOIP sensors will have broad potential markets including homeland defense, medical diagnostics, and environmental monitoring.

PHYSICAL SCIENCES, INC.
20 New England Business Center
Andover, MA 01810
Phone:
PI:
Topic#:
(978) 689-0003
Dr. Bogdan R. Cosofret
CBD 03-102       Selected for Award
Title:AOTF Based Imaging Sensor for Enhanced Stand-off Chemical Detection
Abstract:In this proposal, Physical Sciences Inc. (PSI) outlines the development of an acoustic-optic tunable filter (AOTF) for imaging spectroscopy in the 8 to 11 micron thermal infrared spectral region. In this region, where strong emission from field stops and vignetting can significantly increase the background radiance, a careful design of the system is needed in order to maintain good spectral and spatial resolution. The approach proposed by PSI to optimize the system performance will include the restriction of the detector full field of view to force all rays through the crystal and provide spectral resolution, as well as building and designing proper field stop for reduction of radiation from out-of-band wavelengths. The design couples the AOTF instrument to a cryogenically cooled HgCdTe infrared detector with high responsivity and low noise performance. The technical objective is to demonstrate that the AOTF instrument is a feasible chemical and biological imaging sensor in the thermal infrared region able of achieving a spectral resolution of 8 to 10 cm^-1, an NESR of 2 to 5 śW cm-2 sr^-1 um^-1 and a data cube rate of one data cube for every 2 to 3 seconds. The resulting imaging system will be capable of detecting changes in the infrared signature of a scene, where biological and chemical agents have unique spectral features. The system would be inexpensive and precise, with an agile response time only limited by the acoustic transit time across the optical aperture. It will also be capable of high spectral throughput while having a large dynamic range.

PLANET BIOTECHNOLOGY, INC.
25571 Clawiter Road
Hayward, CA 94545
Phone:
PI:
Topic#:
(510) 887-1461
Dr. Keith Wycoff
CBD 03-103       Awarded: 01AUG03
Title:Botulinum Toxin Plantibodies
Abstract:Our overall goal in this project is to make available inexpensive neutralizing antibodies against Botulinum neurotoxin (BoNT) in large quantity, using transgenic plants. Dr. James Marks (UC San Francisco School of Medicine) has identified murine and human single chain Fv (scFv) that bind non-overlapping epitopes on BoNT/A and neutralize toxin in vitro and in vivo. At present, plants offer the best system for the large scale, inexpensive production of these antibodies. Genes encoding the three best antibodies, codon-optimized for plant expression, will be cloned into vectors designed for the expression of human IgG1 in leaves of transgenic tobacco and seed of Tepary bean (Phaseolus acutifolius). Plants will be transformed with these constructs, regenerated and screened for expression of antibody. Plants expressing high levels of the antibodies will be identified and used to purify enough of each antibody to characterize structure and binding affinity. We estimate that plants will facilitate the production of metric ton quantities of antibodies at 1-5% of the cost of steel tank bioreactors. Plantibody technology will greatly reduce the costs to stockpile antibodies for protection of the population from this serious threat. The successful completion of the aims of this project will result in the availability of lage quantities of neutralizing anti-botulinum toxin antibodies at low cost. These antibodies would be used for passive immunization of people exposed to, or at risk of exposure to botulinum toxin.

AGAVE BIOSYSTEMS, INC.
P.O. Box 80010
Austin, TX 78708
Phone:
PI:
Topic#:
(607) 272-0002
Dr. Kathy Wojtas
CBD 03-104       Awarded: 01SEP03
Title:RNAi screening for Identification of Compounds to Induce Suspended Animation or Hypometabolism
Abstract:While the phenomenon of suspended animation has not been widely studied in humans, there are many anecdotal and medically verified examples of humans being in a state that is comparable to suspended animation when they have been accidentally nearly frozen for short periods of time. There could be many advantages to inducing suspended animation or hypometabolism in humans such as extending survival time from injuries and reducing food, oxygen, and water supply requirements during transportation. Suspended animation can be induced in simple and complex organisms using a variety of environmental cues. However, to date no compounds have been identified that can promote suspended animation in vertebrates. In order to begin the process of identifying these compounds, Agave BioSystems proposes to use the model organism, C. elegans, to identify gene products that induce or inhibit the state of suspended animation. This is an important first step in understanding, and eventually being able to regulate, the phenomenon of suspended animation in vertebrates. The ability to induce, and subsequently terminate, the state of suspended animation in humans and other vertebrates could be utilized in many ways. For example, the logistics required for the movement of troops and ancillary animals, e.g. military dogs, could be greatly simplified, and the supplies required could be greatly reduced. In addition, and more importantly, the length of time that an injured person could survive without medical attention could be profoundly increased. The induction of suspended animation could also be used to help protect troops from lethal exposure to biological and chemical weapons by reducing air intake.

NEURALSTEM, INC.
205 Perry Parkway
Gaithersburg, MD 20877
Phone:
PI:
Topic#:
(301) 337-1803
Dr. Karl Johe
CBD 03-104       Awarded: 25AUG03
Title:Identification of Compounds to Induce Suspended Animation or Hypometabolism
Abstract:Suspended or reduced animation of brain and heart tissues during battle-field injury or during critical-care trauma may result in a significant protection from organ damage, systemic shock, and pain and may provide a prolonged window of opportunity for treatment. Suspended or reduced animation of brain and heart tissues may be achieved by a complete suspension or suppression of neural activities (hypometabolism) in the CNS. The primary objective of this Phase I feasibility research is to identify hypometabolic effects of serum and brain tissue extracts from hibernating Arctic ground squirrels (AGS) on human brain neurons and glia. Potential effects of AGS extracts on several different aspects of neuronal activity/metabolism will be quantified in order to establish robust assays for high throughput screening of small molecule libraries as well as for purification of hibernation factor(s). Identification of the agents with hypometabolic efficacy on human brain cells in vitro would then lead to further testing of those agents for potential therapeutic values in animal models of various human disesaes, including traumatic brain injury, spinal injury, and ischemic stroke. Hypometabolic factors or small molecules with hypometabolic effects may be effective in minimizing tissue damage during/after stroke, traumatic brain injury, spinal injury, and major surgeries. Effective agents will be further developed as commercial therapeutics for these and other indications. They may also have immediate application to sustaining viability and thus enhancing commercial potential of Neuralstem's cell lines during transport.

CHESAPEAKE PERL, INC.
387 Technology Drive
College Park, MD 20783
Phone:
PI:
Topic#:
(301) 405-0207
Ms. Terry Chase
CBD 03-106       Selected for Award
Title:Improved Protein Manufacturing in Insect Expression Systems
Abstract:Chesapeake PERL is a contract manufacturing company using the baculovirus expression system for mass production of proteins in lepidopterous insect larvae. PERL's automated in-line insect mass rearing and inoculation systems enables the production of large quantities of complex, biologically fully functional proteins. The baculovirus expression system as developed in the eighties and nineties is a versatile system for protein expression at small and intermediate quantities of protein in insect cells cultured in flasks or bioreactors. We propose a series of improvements in the system aimed at developing more convenient and rapid methodology for abundant expression of both intermediate and large quantities of functional proteins in intact, living lepidopteran larvae. to be added

PROTEIN SCIENCES CORP.
1000 Research Parkway
Meriden, CT 06450
Phone:
PI:
Topic#:
(203) 686-0800
Dr. Zhendong Wang
CBD 03-106       Selected for Award
Title:Improved Protein Manufacturing in Insect Expression Systems
Abstract:The objective of this proposal is to develop an improved baculovirus transfer vector that contains features enabling real time monitoring of protein expression, high level protein production and rapid protein purification from the insect cells. We propose to build this new vector based upon our proprietary pPSC12 transfer vector that already contains the powerful polyhedrin promoter, believed by many to be the most powerful promoter found in nature, and the 61k baculovirus chitinase signal sequence that directs protein through glycosylation and secretion pathways. Four new features can be incorporated into this pPSC12 vector within two months using a straightforward cloning strategy. When completed, the new baculovirus transfer vector will have the following features: 1. The polyhedrin gene promoter; 2. The chitinase signal sequence; 3. A green fluorescent protein (GFP) reporter system for real-time monitoring of protein production; 4. His6 and Strep molecular tags for rapid purification of the expressed protein; 5. Factor Xa cleavage site to facilitate the complete removal of all tags; and 6. A ligation independent cloning system for cloning inserts, independent of their sequence. To demonstrate the power of this new vector, we further propose to express and characterize the hemagglutinin proteins from A/panama/2007/99 (H3N2) influenza virus. The proposed new baculovirus transfer vector will lead to significant improvement of protein production yields and significant reduction of operational cost through eliminating several time-consuming and labor-intensive steps in the manufacture and process development. As one of the primary protein expression systems, the improved insect expression system will be an ideal protein expression system in the war against bioterrorism. The insect cell system offers "speed" and "certainty", that is superior to all other systems since virtually any protein can be expressed in insect cells. Protein Sciences Corporation has demonstrated the power of this system by producing large quantity of cGMP grade recombinant proteins upon short notice in the 1997 Hong Kong "Bird Flu" crisis. Furthermore, the recombinant HA protein that is proposed to be expressed and purified as an example, has the potential to be developed into subunit vaccines and/or diagnostic tools in the event of a terrorist attack involving potentially lethal influenza viruses.

ZAROMB RESEARCH CORP.
9S706 WILLIAM DR.
HINSDALE, IL 60527
Phone:
PI:
Topic#:
(630) 654-2109
Dr. SOLOMON ZAROMB
CBD 03-107       Selected for Award
Title:Aerosol Collector Technology
Abstract:An electrostatic precipitation-based aerosol collector will be designed, constructed, tested, and fine-tuned with the aim of demonstrating the practicality of a low-power system capable of sampling air at a rate of >500 liters/minute and collecting therefrom >80% of particles 1-10 microns in size into a small volume [<10 ml] of an aqueous medium. The collector will be marketed for wide distribution among military and civilian personnel and for other defensive and domestic preparedness needs. The improved bio-aerosol collector that will result from this R&D will greatly strengthen the military and civilian defense capabilities against biological warfare agents and will therefore have widespread commercial applications.

GVD CORP.
100 Pleasant Street
Lexington, MA 02421
Phone:
PI:
Topic#:
(617) 803-5080
Dr. Hilton Gavin Pryce Lewis
CBD 03-108       Selected for Award
Title:Novel Surface Modification Technologies for Improved Chemical Biological (CB) Protective Materials
Abstract:GVD proposes to develop a lightweight, durable, breathable, water- and chemical-resistant treatment for fabrics, specifically for the military battledress overgarment. GVD will employ its nanotechnology developed at MIT by company founders, a unique hot filament chemical vapor deposition process (HFCVD), to create ultra-thin, highly engineered fluoropolymer and fluorosilicone coatings for fibrous structures. GVD's process is patented worldwide. Unlike conventional spraying and padding techniques, GVD's process produces conformal, coherent, ultra-thin polymer coatings around the individual strands of a fibrous fabric network, wrapping each fiber in its own "molecular safety suit", ensuring maximum effectiveness in protection, while adding negligible weight to the garment and leaving the "feel" of the fabric unaltered. As such, GVD coatings represent an exciting new alternative to the current Quarpel treatment widely used in the armed forces. A number grades of each polymer material, varying composition, thickness, penetration, morphology and molecular weight, will be coated onto 50:50 cotton/nylon-blend fabric swatches and evaluated for water and chemical resistance, durability, and breathablity, before and after repeated laundering. Results will be compared to swatches of the battledress overgarment coated with Quarpel. GVD will develop a polymer treatment for the battledress overgarment with improved durability under field wear and repeated laundering, over Quarpel, the current treatment in use by the U.S. military. The coating will be lightweight, likely lighter-weight than Quarpel, indiscernible to the feel, flexible, breathable, and have water- and chemical-resistance equal to or superior to Quarpel. The treatment developed will also be attractive to wide range commercial applications, which GVD intends to pursue. These include: (1) home furnishings (stain and water repellent coatings for upholstery and rugs), (2) high-end sports fabrics (durable, breathable, lightweight waterproof coatings for outerwear; low-friction, lightweight breathable coatings for speed suits), (3) apparel (durable, breathable, lightweight water and stain resistant coatings for clothing), and (4) industrial fabrics (durable, chemical-resistant coatings for processing equipment; many specialty, niche applications).

NOVELX, INC.
62 Buckingham Drive
Moraga, CA 94556
Phone:
PI:
Topic#:
(925) 708-3584
Dr. Lawrence P. Muray
CBD 03-109       Awarded: 22AUG03
Title:Electron Microscopy for Mobile Laboratory Systems
Abstract:NOVELX, Inc. proposes to develop and market a compact scanning electron microscope (SEM) with X-ray analysis capabilities for mobile, homeland defense, commercial, and military applications. The Phase I technical objective is to investigate the feasibility of integrating a miniature modular scanning electron microscope (mmSEM) with a thermoelectrically cooled silicon X-ray detector, in order to produce a truly low-cost, low-power, portable, liquid nitrogen-free analysis system. The mmSEM will nominally operate in two modes: high resolution imaging mode at 1keV with <25nm image resolution, and high voltage X-ray analysis mode, with <175eV energy resolution at 5.9 keV (Mn-K). Several novel technologies and innovations will be incorporated into the NOVELX analytic mmSEM. The column will consist of all electrostatic, micromachined, batch-fabricated silicon components using micro-electromechanical systems (MEMS) technologies. Batch processing will drive the component costs down while MEMS micromachining and silicon technologies guarantee that the dimensions of the components will be delivered precisely as designed. The silicon components will be packaged using advanced integrated ceramic technologies. The miniature column will be mated with one of several commercially available "off-the-shelf" thermoelectrically cooled silicon X-ray detectors and electronics, and assembled in a compact, load-locked vacuum chamber. The analytic mmSEM will be packaged in a tabletop or portable format and enable high-resolution imaging and on-demand energy dispersive X-ray (EDX) analysis of structures and devices, insulating and conductive, as well as biological materials.

LYNNTECH, INC.
7610 Eastmark Drive
College Station, TX 77840
Phone:
PI:
Topic#:
(979) 693-0017
Dr. Ruya Ozer
CBD 03-200       Selected for Award
Title:Polyoxometalate Nanoparticles as Reversible and Selective Surface Contamination Monitors
Abstract:The threat of chemical warfare agents used against our military is as great as it ever has been. The U.S. Naval forces present large targets for terrorist type activities at all parts of the globe. There are many types of quick detection strategies, such as M8/M9 paper and Chemical Agent Monitors, which can screen liquid and powder forms of chemical agent dispersal, respectively. However, the need to continuously detect aerosols and vapors of chemical weapons remains an additional safety precaution needed on all sea-faring vessels. The aim of this Phase I proposal is to develop a robust polymeric film with embedded nanoparticles that can produce a fast, colorimetric response to the liquid and gaseous forms of chemical weapons. A swatch of this film could be adhered to the desired surface rendering a small fraction of the surface into a contamination monitor. Additional advantage is gain from the nontoxic and reversible nature inherent to these nanoparticles. In the Phase I-Option, transparent coatings of this film will be tested on selective surfaces as well as involving secondary nanoparticles to enhance the range of chemical warfare agent detection. These Phase I findings will be use to develop a swatch prototype for refinement in Phase II. These polymeric film swatches provide a robust and reusable chemical warfare agent monitor that could be used on any military vehicle or transport. They provide an upgrade to the M8/M9 paper technology with greater durability while using non-toxic chemicals. Civilian emergency response and homeland security personnel would greatly benefit from this technology especially as the threats within the U.S. borders increase.

BIOSCALE, INC.
955 Massachusetts Avenue, #371
Cambridge, MA 02139
Phone:
PI:
Topic#:
(857) 544-3055
Dr. Alok Srivastava
CBD 03-201       Selected for Award
Title:Monitoring Food and Water for Pathogens
Abstract:BioScale, Inc. was founded with the mission to develop biohazard detection systems for commercial applications. After an intensive investigation of technologies existing in commercial, academic, and government labs, BioScale has selected a MEMS device for detection of viral and bacterial pathogens. This technology is best suited for the near-term development of a low-cost, field deployable, real-time, and reliable biohazard detection system capable of integration with standard sample preparation processes. In order to demonstrate proof-of-principle, the detection limits for a target analyte in a raw physical sample will be measured using the proposed device. In Phase I, BioScale proposes to demonstrate that the MEMS device is a viable biohazard detector. Specifically, the program seeks to prove that the sensitivity of the device meets the requirements of biohazard detection applications and that it can be combined with environmental control and sample preparation elements to design a complete system. There are several motivating applications for this biosensor work: Pathogen detection, acute care diagnostics and pharmaceutical development. Pathogen detection in the nations water arteries and food supply chain presents an opportunity for the current focus of microbial detection. Analytes, such as, Cryptosporidium, Giardia and various strains of E. coli (Ref. CDC), present in the smallest concentrations can cause severe illness and death in immuno-compromised hosts. Recent events have prompted a national focus on homeland security and defense against biological agents. Today's need is for microbe detection, such as anthrax and smallpox, both in liquid environment samples and in physiological samples

PHYSICAL OPTICS CORP.
Photonic Systems Division, 20600 Gramercy Place Bl
Torrance, CA 90501
Phone:
PI:
Topic#:
(310) 530-7892
Dr. Gregory Zeltser
CBD 03-201       Selected for Award
Title:Microfluidic Array Biosensor
Abstract:In response to CBD need, Physical Optics Corporation (POC) proposes to develop and fabricate a novel Microfluidic Array Biosensor (MICAB) as a new, sensitive, simple-to-use, hybrid instrument system for the early and rapid detection of environmental bacterial and viral pathogens. The concept of the system is based on the combination of microfluidics and evanescent wave phenomena. The MICAB will consist of three elements: a 3D capillary array, a backlit diffuser screen, and a processing/analyzing subsystem. The device will significantly enhance the operational efficiency and readiness of shipboard, land-based, and expeditionary naval forces. In Phase I, POC will demonstrate the feasibility of the MICAB device for rapid and extremely sensitive detection of pathogens in liquid. Phase II development will culminate in fabrication and validation of MICAB system incorporating an array of molecular markers (100 and more) for rapid and reliable detection of multiple food and water pathogens by untrained personnel. The successful completion of this project will result in a sensitive, reliable, easy-to-use and cost-efficient food and water pathogen detection device. Other potential applications include food industry; medical diagnostics of pathogens as well as immunoassay for hormones, medications, and metabolites; wastewater treatment facilities; pharmaceutical industries; and environmental monitoring and industrial safety.

ECHO TECHNOLOGIES, INC.
5250 Cherokee Avenue
Alexandria, VA 22313
Phone:
PI:
Topic#:
(617) 443-0066
Dr. Mary Beth Tabacco
CBD 03-202       Selected for Award
Title:Microorganism Imprinted Polymers (MIOPs) for Detection of Biological Warfare Agents
Abstract:There is an immediate need for real-time sensitive and selective detection of biological warfare agents (BWA) in air or water. Essential components of developmental biological and chemical sensors are the molecular receptors or recognition elements. Molecular imprinting of polymers has been used with promising results to create artificial chemical receptors. Echo Technologies, Inc. proposes to demonstrate Microorganism Imprinted Polymers (MOIPs) as robust, artificial receptors for capture and detection of biological agents. Molecularly imprinted polymers have been demonstrated as chemical receptors in the laboratory but application to biological recognition and sensing is a new approach. When incorporated into biosensors under development for detection of air- and water-borne BWAs the MOIPs will greatly improve the capture efficiency, sensitivity, and selectivity of the sensors. Another key advantage is that the recognition event is fully reversible. In Phase I MOIP biosensors will be developed for detection of bacteria and bacterial spores. This technology is readily extended to include detection of viruses and biological toxins. In Phase II the recognition elements will be incorporated into a biosensor array already under development at ETI for monitoring airborne BWAs. A prototype BWA detection system will be fabricated and tested in the laboratory and at an extramural facility. MOIPs offer robustness not realized in DNA or antibody based biosensors. Compared to receptors currently used by ETI MOIPs will provide enhanced capture efficiency and selectivity. In military and homeland security sector, the bacterial MOIPs could be used as the sensor recognition elements in handheld or point sensors for real-time detection of BWAs. The sensors can also be applied to monitoring water and food sources in host nations. Commercially the biosensors can be used in air and water filtration units for stored, distributed and natural water supplies. MOIPs for bacteria and viruses could be could be incorporated into HVAC systems to ensure safety of public buildings and other venues.

RADIATION MONITORING DEVICES, INC.
44 Hunt Street
Watertown, MA 02472
Phone:
PI:
Topic#:
(617) 926-1167
Mr. Arieh M. Karger
CBD 03-202       Selected for Award
Title:Microorganism Imprinted Polymers (MOIPs) for Detection of Biological Warfare Agents
Abstract:Radiation Monitoring Device, Inc. (RMD) will develop microorganism imprinted polymers (MOIPs) that purify, concentrate, and identify bacterial and viral wargare agents. In Phase I we will develop polymer formulations and fluorescent labeling strategies for MOIPs targeted towards E. coli and B. globigii vegetative cells. We will aslo demonstrate the feasibility of detecting biowarfare agents. In Phase II we will imprint viruses and bacterial spores. The MOIP sensors will be characterized with respect to their sensitivity, response time, selectivity, stability, and reversibility. To conclude this program, a portable prototype will be designed, fabicated, and tested. The prototype will use an array of MOIPs, housed in a microfluidic format, that will be matched with a PIN photodiode array detector. We will interface the photodiode with an artificial neural network for signal processing. It is anticipated that microorganism imprinted polymers (MOIPs) will be capable of bacterial detection, identification, purification, and concentration. MOIP sensors will be used in portable instruments by combat troops and emergency responders to detect and identify bacterial warfare agents in aerosol samples. For purifying samples, these sensors will be applicable as the front-end component for instruments, such as a PCR-based detectors. The capability of concentrating microorganisms will increase the sensitivity of biological detectors. Furthermore, MOIPs will identify waterborne pathogens and pollen allergens for water and indoor air quality monitors.

INNOVATIVE SURVIVABILITY TECHNOLOGIES
P.O. Box 1989
Goleta, CA 93116
Phone:
PI:
Topic#:
(805) 968-8829
Mr. Frank D. Swanson
CBD 03-203       Selected for Award
Title:Multi-mission Chemical Sensor (MMCS)
Abstract:IST is proposing the development of a miniature chemical agent detection device that is based on using infrared energy absorption to detect the presence of toxic materials. The detection of toxic chemicals is possible if the vapors pass between a source of infrared energy and a sensor capable of measuring the thermal change associated with the absorption of infrared energy at specific frequencies. The breadboard detection system utilizes a MEMS photonic band gap foil that is ion etched to emit broadband infrared energy in the LWIR region. The sensor utilizes a microbolometer array with cutoff filters tuned to pass thermal energy at narrowly defined frequencies. The selected frequencies will correspond to those that are known absorption peaks for the chemical agents of interest. If a chemical agent enters the cell, energy is absorbed at specific frequencies that are detected by the tuned microbolometers as a temperature change. If these temperature changes correspond to the known absorption peaks for specific chemical agents an alarm is sounded. The resulting system is very small, solid state and thus very rugged, does not require periodic maintenance or personnel involvement in operation and will not false alarm when encountering non-toxic gasses. Development of this Multi-Mission Chemical Sensor will result in an extremely rugged device capable of being employed via non-traditional means. These include emplacement via launch and dissemination from a projectile, dropping from a UAV or operation while mounted on a small robotic vehicle. The design will enable interface with other components such as GPS receivers and RF communications modules allowing non line of sight operations. Commercial usage would include monitoring critical areas such as subways, Government buildings and stadiums. The rugged design and ease of operation will allow first responders to focus on taking corrective action immediately after a potential threat is detected.

INTELLIGENT AUTOMATION, INC.
7519 Standish Place, Suite 200
Rockville, MD 20855
Phone:
PI:
Topic#:
(301) 294-5238
Mr. Chiman Kwan
CBD 03-300       Selected for Award
Title:A Novel Approach for Spectral Unmixing and Classification of Chemical and Biological Agents
Abstract:Besides performing a thorough statistical analysis of the government furnished data sets to determine the features and metrics for spectral unmixing, Intelligent Automation, Inc. and Prof. C. Chang of University of Maryland at Baltimore County also propose an innovative approach to detect and classify chemical and biological agents. There are two major steps. First, we propose to apply a recently developed linear spectral random mixture analysis (LSRMA) method to perform the spectral unmixing operation. The method extends commonly used linear spectral unmixing to random spectral unmixing in the sense that the abundance fractions considered in the latter are now modeled by random parameters rather than the unknown constants treated in the former. This treatment is more close to reality as agents have deformable shapes. Most importantly, the proposed LSRMA does not require any a priori information and can be fully automated in computers. Second, once the spectral information has been unmixed, we propose to apply a state-of-the-art technique in pattern recognition to perform automatic detection and classification of agents. The technique is called Support Vector Machine (SVM), which has several remarkable advantages such as global optimal solution, no over-training issue, and better performance than most existing classification schemes. The proposed algorithm will be useful for chemical and biological agent detection and classification. The market for military applications is quite large. Other potential applications include law enforcement agency, homeland security, border and coast patrol. The potential market is both domestic and international in scope.

FOSTER-MILLER, INC.
350 Second Ave.
Waltham, MA 02451
Phone:
PI:
Topic#:
(781) 684-4618
Mr. Franklin Landers
CBD 03-301       Selected for Award
Title:Innovative Optical Illumination Schemes for Surface Chemical Threat Detection
Abstract:Foster-Miller proposes to develop a portable system for rapid and effective standoff detection of chemical agents on surfaces. Ongoing laser interrogation efforts have demonstrated the ability to detect chemical agents on the ground, but these systems are not readily adaptable to man-portable operation and suffer from a number of operational issues related to the use of a laser as the source of excitation. The proposed system builds upon innovative illumination and detection schemes to enable pervasive application of optical standoff detection of chemical agents. The Phase I effort demonstrates the proof of concept through theoretical modeling and measurements of simulants and soil backgrounds in a manner consistent with the proposed method. In Phase II, an integrated breadboard device incorporating automated data acquisition and detection algorithms will be developed. (P-030277) A standoff surface chemical contaminant detector has widespread use and immediate need both on the soldier theatre and at threatened civilian targets. The proposed system will allow the quick determination of the presence of a potential threat, allowing first responders to evacuate a contaminated area without requiring analysis by time-consuming laboratory methods.

TIAX LLC
Acorn Park
Cambridge, MA 02140
Phone:
PI:
Topic#:
(617) 498-5619
Mr. Kevin Beltis
CBD 03-302       Awarded: 19AUG03
Title:Encapsulating Films and Foams for Removal of Chemical / Biological Agents
Abstract:Proposal to provide the Government options for non-hazardous, non-toxic encapsulation systems for flight hardware contaminated by the release of chemical nerve agents or biological agents such as anthrax. The proposal provides the government with recommendations for modifications to commercially available systems with proven capability to encapsulate particulate materials and/or chemcial agents on surfaces. The resulting material is expected to be safe to handle and pose little to no threat for cross-contamination from the original hazards. Developed systems will have applicability to the decontamination of other DoD assets as well as significantly benefiting similar application needs for the decontamination of organic chemical and or biological materials in the commercial and civilian sector.

JIM JUNK YARD
555 fun street
fairfax, VA 22031
Phone:
PI:
Topic#:
(444) 444-4444
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CBD 03-303       Selected for Award
Title: Novel Methods for Decontamination of Biological Agents
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MATERIALS & ELECTROCHEMICAL RESEARCH (MER) CORP.
7960 S. Kolb Rd.
Tucson, AZ 85706
Phone:
PI:
Topic#:
(520) 574-1980
Dr. Mohammed Abdelkader
CBD 03-304       Selected for Award
Title:Carbon Based Nano-Additives for Chemically and Biologically Protective Polymeric Nanocomposites
Abstract:?This Small Business Innovation Research Phase I Project ? is primarily to investigate the chemical and biological protective properties of nano-additives in bulk and in polymers. Conventional chemical and biological protective materials are based on activated carbon, polymers and their combinations. Their mechanism of protection is based on adsorption and impermeability, respectively, and does not neutralize chemical and biological threats. In saturated chemical and biological environments these materials usually fail. The combination of advanced carbon based nanoparticles, and advanced formulations with polymers have the potential to alleviate the strength of these composites and improve their protective and reactive response to chemical and biological toxic agents. Several formulations of these carbon based nano-additives with and without polymeric binders have the potential to react with electrophilic chemical warfare agents, inhibit the growth of bacteria and microorganisms, and neutralize viruses. Carbon based nano-additives and polymeric nano-composites will be developed and tested for their reactivity, reversibility, fast response to different chemical and biological threats. Low cost carbon based nano-additives with ultra high adsorption and reactive protection against toxic chemicals, and microorganisms. They yield ultra-light weight polymeric nanocomposites with improved strength, structural stability and protective properties for diverse chemical, biological, radiation, and high impact threats.

POLYMERIGHT, INC.
4404-C Enterprise Place,
Fremont, CA 94538
Phone:
PI:
Topic#:
(510) 252-9090
Dr. Leonid rappoport
CBD 03-305       Selected for Award
Title:Rapid Repair of CB Hardened Systems
Abstract:POLYMERight proposes to develop field repair kits that will prevent the compromise of collective protection systems if their integrity is lost. The adhesive chemistry utilized can quickly, easily and dependably bond the like and unlike surfaces together, including Kevlar, polyfluorinated materials, polyolefins, PVC and other materials associated with collective protection systems. It will be tested on various combinations of CB hardened surfaces, bonded at a reasonable range of environmental conditions. These goals will be reached by creating an adhesive system that will include a primer for cyanoacrylate (CA) adhesives already developed by POLYMERight and an appropriate adhesive. This primer allows strong, practically instant bonding of all tested materials, including PTFE (Teflonr) and PVDF (polyvinylidene fluoride), without any surface preparation except for simple cleaning. The widely used, activated by air moisture, CA adhesives provide quickest bonding of multiple types of materials. The POLYMERight's primer overcomes their traditional limitations, allowing CA to quickly and consistently bond even difficult or impossible to glue polyolefins and fluorinated materials. It diminishes dependence of the bond on atmospheric moisture, by 300% improves bonding strength at below-freezing temperatures, increases stability of open-to-air primed surfaces and retention of the bonding strength in warm water. The project will result in the development of an effective, superior adhesion system for maintaining the integrity of the collective CB protective systems in the Air Force CBD and other branches of the US military. Eventually, it could also be utilized for the production of kits for maintaining the integrity of the individual CB protecting equipment. The developed cyanoacrylate-based adhesive system will significantly expand the application area of commercial cyanoacrylates, allowing them to bond the materials that are currently considered unsuitable for bonding by these adhesives. The ease of application and universality of this adhesive system, and, especially, its capability to bond polyethylene and fluorinated plastics (Teflonr and polyvinylidene fluoride) - materials that cannot be bonded now by any adhesives without expensive surface preparation - will make it especially attractive to many civilian and military organizations that deal with the manufacturing, assembly and maintenance of plastic goods. The interest and potential participation of Pacer Technology (an acknowledged leader in the production and distribution of cyanoacrylate adhesives both in USA and internationally) will allow quick introduction of the developed adhesive system to wide retail and commercial markets in automotive, aerospace, plastics assembly and other industries.