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17 Phase I Selections from the 06.1 Solicitation

(In Topic Number Order)
ADVANCED MECHANICAL SYSTEMS TECHNOLOGY, LLC
327 Nonantum Dr.
Newark, DE 19716
Phone:
PI:
Topic#:
(302) 292-1813
Ren-Qiong Xu
CBD 06-101      Awarded: 15APR06
Title:Low-Output High Precision Automated Powder Disseminator
Abstract:This proposal presents a Phase I SBIR project to develop a high precision, low disperse rate powder disseminator for the US Army. In the development of the sensitive detecting agent, we need to release a precise amount of C&B agents in the controlled detection experiments. However, such a technology does not exist at the present time. After examining existing technologies, we believe that the requirement of this SBIR call can be met only if new designs and control concepts are introduced. This SBIR project intends to design and develop a portable, low-output dry powder disseminator that disperses 1-10 micron powder at variable rates from approximately 350 nanogram/minute to 1 mg/minute. The technology to be developed by this project will significantly increase the speed of evaluating various C&B detection agents thus to enhance the country's C&B defense capabilities, and has a potential to deliver a series of commercial products for precision handling of C&B agents in powder and other forms. The potential markets of the variants of the technology will include defense as well as pharmaceutical and chemical industries.

LYNNTECH, INC.
7607 Eastmark Drive, Suite 102
College Station, TX 77840
Phone:
PI:
Topic#:
(979) 693-0017
Bikas Vaidya
CBD 06-102      Awarded: 05JUN06
Title:Reagentless and Realtime Detection of Airborne Microorganisms
Abstract:The potential use of chemical and biological weapons for mass destruction is one of the most serious concerns facing the US defense forces. Currently available devices for collection and identification of biological agents require extensive sample preparation and well equipped laboratories. Other detection methods rely on fragile biomolecules like antibodies, nucleic acids, enzymes and/or other receptors that require an aqueous environment for recognition. Such biosensors have a limited shelf-life, require additional reagents and therefore, are not suitable for onsite analysis. A system for rapid detection of BW agent spores at low concentrations is needed that is also lightweight, compact capable of running unattended for remote applications. Lynntech's approach is based on using a novel combination of electrostatic precipitation for capture and pre-concentration of biological agents and spores directly on a reusable infrared transparent crystal followed by infrared spectroscopic characterization. Sampling system will be designed through which samples can be drawn at a high velocity without damaging the biological agents or contaminants. A fully automatic continuous air sampling and monitoring device that can detect less than 1000 spores per liter of air, and weighs less than 20 pounds will be designed and developed during the Phase II efforts.

ORONO SPECTRAL SOLUTIONS, INC.
20 Godfrey Drive
Orono, ME 4473
Phone:
PI:
Topic#:
(207) 581-3358
Brian J. Ninness
CBD 06-102      Awarded: 13JUN06
Title:Realtime Detection And Identification Of Airborne Microorganisms Using Infrared Spectroscopy
Abstract:The goal of this Phase I effort is to investigate the feasibility of extracting at least 1.0 microgram of bacillus spores from the environment and presenting these spores in real-time to an FTIR spectrometer for detection. The identification of bacterial spores using FTIR spectroscopy has been successful in classifying these microorganisms down to the genus and species level. Therefore the key enabler for using FTIR as the identification step is the interfacing of filtration and electrostatic collection techniques that will allow isolation of the microgram quantities needed for reliable detection. The main challenge in realizing an IR-based bioaerosol detection system is the coupling of these collection strategies with the optical requirements of a mid-IR spectrometer.

PHYSICAL SCIENCES, INC.
20 New England Business Center
Andover, MA 1810
Phone:
PI:
Topic#:
(978) 689-0003
Christopher M. Gittins
CBD 06-103      Awarded: 05MAY06
Title:Frequency Agile LIDAR Receiver for Chem-Bio Sensing
Abstract:Physical Sciences Inc., in conjunction with its subcontractor, Vtech Engineering Corp., proposes to develop an ultra low noise receiver module for direct detection LWIR lidar systems. The proposed receiver concept is compatible with emerging LWIR source technologies, e.g., optical parametric amplifier-based sources, as well as existing frequency-agile CO2 laser technology. The optical system will incorporate a rapidly-tunable Fabry-Perot interferometer (etalon) to reduce the baseline flux on the detector and thereby reduce the background-limited photon statistical (BLIP) noise associated with backscatter measurements. The tunable etalon's transmission will track the emission wavelength of the lidar transmitter. Development of a low-noise amplifier matched to the receiver detector is required in order to realize the BLIP noise reduction resulting from the etalon. Model calculations indicate that the NEP of the proposed receiver will be a factor of 4 to 6 lower than what can be achieved using a conventional optical design and a commercially-available detector and amplifier. Model calculations further indicate that this reduction in system NEP can extend maximum standoff range by up to a factor of 2.5 or improve detection limits for chemical vapors or aerosol particles by up to a factor of 6.

SOUTH BAY SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY CORP.
7525 W. 81st St.,
Playa del Rey, CA 90293
Phone:
PI:
Topic#:
(310) 378-4961
David B. Cohn
CBD 06-103      Selected for Award
Title:High Sensitivity Receiver For Optimized Standoff Active Chem-Bio Sensor
Abstract:The objective of the program is to demonstrate novel methods for achieving significant improvement in sensitivity of the active standoff chemical sensor operating in the 3-5 m and 10 m bands. Emphasis will be placed on photon detection improvement including reduction of background radiation and preamplifier noise reduction. Detector arrays will be studied for threat mapping applications. Tradeoff of all the laser and sensor design factors will be performed to achieve a maximally sensitive detection system. Phase I includes assessment of the state-of-the-art of photon detector technology; analysis, tradeoffs, and performance projections for novel approaches and components to improve sensor sensitivity by at least a factor of 10 in the 9.3-10.7 m band and performance evaluation for the 3-5 m band for toxic industrial chemical detection; and development of a detailed component technology roadmap.

KUMETRIX, INC.
29524 Union City Blvd.
Union City, CA 94587
Phone:
PI:
Topic#:
(510) 476-0950
Brian Sullivan
CBD 06-104      Awarded: 01MAY06
Title:Handheld Instrument for Nerve Agent Detection
Abstract:Rapid detection and identification of chemical warfare nerve agents (CWNAs) are critical to the screening and subsequent treatment of exposed warfighters. Inhibition of cholinesterase activity is insufficient as a marker of exposure to CWNAs, in that it can give misleading results and does not distinguish CWNAs from commonly employed pesticides. This proposal presents a revolutionary field-portable diagnostic instrument capable of the detection and identification of specific CWNAs. Design will be based on a microsampling and assay disposable silicon microchip, pioneered in the proposer's laboratory using MEMS (microelectromechanical systems) technology. The microchip consists of a hollow silicon microneedle comparable in cross-section to a human hair integrated with lab-on-a-chip microfluidics. Silicon microfabrication technology developed for the manufacture of electronic integrated circuits can produce these microchips in high volume at low unit cost. Selectivity and sensitivity are achieved through high affinity binding antibodies towards metabolites of CWNAs and an electrochemical signal amplification technique. In conjunction with the design of the BioMEMS disposable detection chip, a prototype hand-held portable instrument will be designed during the Phase I basic program. The initial BioMEMS microchip instrument system will be designed for detection and identification of CWNAs, but is adaptable to other chemical warfare agent such as: vesicants, pulmonary agents, and cyanides.

OPERATIONAL TECHNOLOGIES CORP.
4100 N. W. Loop 410
San Antonio, TX 78229
Phone:
PI:
Topic#:
(210) 731-0015
John G. Bruno
CBD 06-104      Awarded: 18MAY06
Title:FRET-Aptamer Assays & Handheld Reader for Nerve Agent Metabolites
Abstract:Operational Technologies Corporation (OpTech) proposes to couple the speed and ultrasensitivity of one-step ("bind and detect") fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET) detection with the high affinity and selectivity of DNA aptamers (surrogate antibodies) to detect the phosphonic acid derivative metabolites of organophosphorous nerve agents in urine, blood, and other body fluids. In Phase I, OpTech will develop assays for the known metabolites of Sarin (GB) and Soman (GD, methyl phosphonic, isopropylmethyl phsophonic, and methylpinococyl phosphonic acids). By the end of Phase I, OpTech will demonstrate the use of these FRET-aptamer assays in freeze-dried form in plastic cuvettes with an off-the-shelf, commercially available, battery-operated, handheld fluorometer. In Phase II, OpTech will refine the existing metabolite assays and add metabolite assays for Tabun (GA), VX, and any other nerve agent metabolites of interest. In addition, in Phase II OpTech will partner with a well-known local optoelectronics engineering firm to produce its own version of the handheld fluorometer, which will meet military specifications. OpTech will then deliver the integrated sensor system to the Army for independent testing and evaluation.

RAPID PATHOGEN SCREENING, INC.
101 Phillips Park Drive
South Williamsport, PA 17702
Phone:
PI:
Topic#:
(570) 327-6112
Franz Aberl
CBD 06-104      Awarded: 18MAY06
Title:Chemical Warfare Agent (CWA) Lightweight Field-Portable (Hand-Held) Medical Diagnostic Tool
Abstract:Various methods and techniques have been developed in the laboratory for the detection and identification of exposure to chemical warfare nerve agents (CWNAs). A broad range of analytical methods is available to screen urine, blood or body tissues for traces of CWNAs or their breakdown products. Laboratory-based methods allow the differentiation between CWNAs and non-CWNAs that are used in agricultural applications. These laboratory-based methods also demonstrate detection sensitivities down to the pg/ml level. Laboratory-based medical diagnostic systems for CWNAs have several limitations. Sample preparation and analysis phases are relatively time and labor intensive which make it difficult to use the technology in acute exposure cases for immediate countermeasures or treatment of patients. Furthermore, laboratory instruments require certain environmental conditions, external power supply, warm-up time, regular maintenance cycles and calibra-tion routines. These requirements make it nearly impossible to use these instruments in a less controlled or field environment. The overall objective of this small business innovation research (SBIR) topic is to develop a lightweight field-portable (i.e., hand-held) device that fulfills a two-fold purpose as follows: (1) it will detect/identify CWNAs of operational concern and (2) it will be used as a diagnostic tool by appropriate medical professionals to rapidly screen for and to identify those individuals who have been exposed to CWNAs and determine those individuals who require treatment. The primary purpose of the device will be diagnostic testing of biomedical samples (e.g., urine) for the presence of nerve agent metabolites. A potential solution for meeting the overall objective of this SBIR topic is leveraging the patented lateral flow immunoassay technology of Rapid Pathogen Screening (RPS), in combination with appropriate integrated modules for sample collection and sample preparation, to produce a powerful tool for rapid field diagnosis and detection of CWNAs. The objective of this SBIR Phase I effort will be to develop a detailed plan which articulates an effective strategy to formulate a diagnostic tool with the capability to detect/identify CWNAs. The Phase I effort will provide focus for DoD regarding what type of strategy should be implemented to formulate a medical diagnostic tool that is lightweight and field-portable with the capability to detect/identify CWNAs.

SEMOREX, INC.
675 U.S. Highway One
North Brunswick, NJ 8902
Phone:
PI:
Topic#:
(732) 745-7070
Green Bernard S
CBD 06-104      Awarded: 18MAY06
Title:Chemical Warfare Agent (CWA) Lightweight Field-Portable (Hand-Held) Medical Diagnostic Tool
Abstract:Chemical weapon nerve agents (CWNAs) are extremely deadly substances, and as a key element in the arsenals of rogue nations and terrorists who are willing to use them, they represent a constant threat to our military and civilian personnel. Current methods for detecting CWNA exposure in individuals have many deficiencies, including excessive false-positives (triggered by pesticides) and false-negatives (from environmental interferences), the required use of labile enzymes, the inability to specifically identify the nerve agent, and the need for consumables. Those methods also rely on equipment that is cumbersome in the field. Semorex and its expert collaborators propose to prove the feasibility of developing an inexpensive, reliable, hand-held diagnostic device to aid first-responders and other medical personnel in rapidly detecting/identifying CWNAs. The device will be based on our novel, proprietary recognition technology-molecularly imprinted polymers (MIPs), developed with previous DOD SBIR support. During Phase I we will use DFP (diisopropylfluorophosphate, a commercially available toxic OP agent) to establish proof-of-concept for the basic reactions using commercial serum samples to show that the required sensitivity, reactivity, specificity and stability can be obtained. The anticipated Phase I results will set the stage for a larger Phase II prototyping/demonstration project.

ASHWIN-USHAS CORP., INC.
206 Ticonderoga Blvd.
Freehold, NJ 7728
Phone:
PI:
Topic#:
(732) 462-1270
P. Chandrasekhar
CBD 06-105      Awarded: 19APR06
Title:Unique Conducting Polymer-Coated, Metallized Microporous Membranes with High Electro-Osmotic Function for Chem-Bio Protection
Abstract:In unrelated, prior and ongoing work, this firm has already developed unique, double-sided, metallized (Au, Pt, etc.) thin, highly flexible, microporous membranes, used as electrodes in unique electrochromic devices. The active electrochromic material, on either side of the membrane, is a Conducting Polymer (CP). These microporous membrane electrodes are ideal candidates for electro-osmotic membranes for the CW/BW agent-protective uses. Among others, their features include: (i) Ideal 2-electrode mode operation. (ii) High differential electric fields with dissimilar CPs on either side. (iii) High capacity for optimization of electro-osmotic capacity through parameters such as CP/dopant identity, doping level and thickness; type, porosity and thickness of membrane material. (iv) Flexibility, thinness and drapability. (v) Ability to pattern/segment the metal layer, enabling greatly reduced power consumption. (vi) Known ability of CPs to protect against as well as sense CW/BW agents. (vii) Very low voltages and currents (typically +/- 1.5 VDC or 0.1 mA/cm2 ). In the proposed work, these membrane electrodes will be further developed and optimized. They will be tested with CW and BW agent models, used in this firm's prior work with CW/BW agent destruction. A collaborative effort with the Regional Center for Bio-Defense and other organizations is envisaged.

DAKOTA ANALYTICAL SOLUTIONS
1399 Beacon Hill Drive
Salt Lake City, UT 84123
Phone:
PI:
Topic#:
(801) 892-5484
Teresa Corbin
CBD 06-106      Awarded: 10MAY06
Title:Materials Research for the Development of Agent Standard Reference Materials and Analytical Test Apparatus
Abstract:Development and production of semi-permeable and permselective polymer membranes can fill a critical need for standard reference materials for AVLAG, CBART, and IPE acquisition programs. Optimizing the permselectivity of tri-block copolymers to specific chemical agents, non-traditional agents, and toxic industrial chemicals and materials will result in the formation of suitable and affordable reference materials. Selectivity and specificity will be enhanced by blending and coating copolymer foundations with novel dendrimers, thus regulating the flow of organics and humidity through the membranes. Employing an advanced real-time analytical test system to evaluate the membranes' performance is a vital aspect of this work. The analysis of the membranes is the key to the success of this project. By employing an analytical test system that can provide direct correlation to the membranes' expected performance under DPG and AVLAG test conditions, the likelihood of delivering a successful candidate as efficiently as possible for the U.S. Army is greatly improved.

GENOMATICA, INC.
5405 Morehouse Drive
San Diego, CA 92121
Phone:
PI:
Topic#:
(858) 362-8557
Tom Fahland
CBD 06-107      Awarded: 01JUN06
Title:Computer-Assisted Strain Construction And Development Engineering (CASCADE)
Abstract:The recent advances of modern high-throughput genomic technologies have resulted in a large number of fully sequenced microbial organisms. The construction of these comprehensive metabolic models serves many purposes including encapsulating all the data and allowing for in silco experiments to be performed that can drive experimental work and aid in strain development and optimization. The creation of a full metabolic reconstruction requires a significant amount of manual work; an automated procedure for rapidly developing metabolic models would be extremely valuable for the biotechnology field. We intend to develop a fully automated procedure for creating the metabolic reconstruction based on sequence data analysis and develop an automated analysis to determine growth and substrate utilization and protein production capability. The combination of automating the sequenced based metabolic reconstruction and downstream analysis of chemical production capabilities will rapidly produce fully functioning metabolic models with predictive power. These models will significantly increase productivity and decrease the time and effort required for strain design and aid in bioprocessing and chemical production.

QUANTUM INTELLIGENCE, INC.
3375 Scott Blvd
Santa Clara, CA 95054
Phone:
PI:
Topic#:
(408) 980-0090
Ying Zhao
CBD 06-107      Awarded: 10MAY06
Title:Computer-Assisted Strain Construction And Development Engineering (CASCADE)
Abstract:This proposal aims at solving for a "Computer-Assisted Strain Construction and Development Engineering (CASCADE)" (SBIR CBD06-107). Our approach is to integrate BioSpice (a DOD product) and our statistical model developed by Quantum Intelligence together with publicly available data to develop a system for discovering the predictive relations between genomic fingerprints of an organism and its metabolic efficiency, and then use the relations to assess the potential for a biological system to produce specifically designed recombinant proteins. We will obtain the available genomic information, along with other properties, such as biochemistry, growth characteristics, and physiology of various organisms, and link them with the metabolic efficiencies of each organism. We will analyze these data and compare them among organisms, then use the data to build a predictive model. The model will be used to predict the metabolic efficiencies of other organisms which are not included in the pool of organisms to build the model. The genomic information of the tested organisms will be fed into our model, and the predictive results will be tested in laboratory to see how well the model predicts the protein production capabilities of the tested organisms compared to the real-life experiments.

LYNNTECH, INC.
7607 Eastmark Drive, Suite 102
College Station, TX 77840
Phone:
PI:
Topic#:
(979) 693-0017
Anthony Giletto
CBD 06-108      Awarded: 10MAY06
Title:Self-Detoxifying, Disposable Protective Garments
Abstract:There are many types of limited use or disposable protective garments and apparel designed to inhibit/retard the passage of hazardous liquids and biological contaminates through the garment to the wearer. The current state-of-the-art Chem-Bio protective suits contain carbon-beads layered into textile materials which adsorb toxic liquids and vapors. However, activated carbon imparts only partial protection against chemical agents through physical entrapment within its pores (without neutralization) and adsorbed toxics are known to off-gas. This Phase I SBIR proposal describes the development of a multilayered protective fabric that will offer a comprehensive combination of self-decontamination, barrier protection, and comfort. The self-decontamination property of the proposed fabric will be achieved by immobilizing reactive nanoparticles onto a commercially available material commonly used in disposable garments. Preliminary results included in this proposal demonstrate the feasibility of this approach. The reactive fabric material will be laminated to other commercially available materials which will impart barrier protection and wearer comfort properties to the final product. The Phase I research also describes the evaluation of the multilayered fabric including toxic chemical surrogate degradation and material durability testing. Phase II development of the proposed technology will include live agent testing.

NANOSCALE MATERIALS, INC.
1310 Research Park Drive
Manhattan, KS 66502
Phone:
PI:
Topic#:
(785) 537-0179
Franklin Kroh
CBD 06-109      Awarded: 09MAY06
Title:Residue-Free Decontamination Wipes With Reactive Nanoparticles
Abstract:Military equipment requires rapid and thorough means of decontamination from chemical warfare agents (CWAs) so that it can return to safe and usable condition. Current decontaminants include powdered sorbents that leave residues that impair the performance of sensitive equipment such as optics and electronics. A decontamination wipe that leaves no residue is required. NanoScale Materials, Inc. (NanoScaler) proposes development of decontaminant wipes in which its proprietary sorbent, NanoActiver TiO2, is contained within fabrics that do not release particulates. In this way the strong ability of NanoActive TiO2 to destructively adsorb CWAs can be utilized in a way that leaves no residue. In Phase I, NanoScale will evaluate the properties of fabrics to determine which best transfer CWA simulants from contaminated surfaces to NanoActive TiO2. The tendency of these fabrics to leave residues and scratches on surfaces will be determined. Prototype decontamination wipes will be constructed, and the wipes will be tested for ability to decontaminate surfaces without damage to materials or transferring contamination to other surfaces. NanoScale is a leader in first-response decontamination of CWAs and other toxic compounds. NanoActive TiO2 has demonstrated excellent capacity to permanently destroy CWAs, their simulants, and other hazardous materials.

VENTANA RESEARCH
2702 South Fourth Avenue
Tucson, AZ 85713
Phone:
PI:
Topic#:
(520) 882-8772
John Lombardi
CBD 06-109      Awarded: 09MAY06
Title:Residue-Free Decontamination Wipes
Abstract:Currently employed decontaminating sorbents (e.g. A200 & XE-55) have the propensity to leave a powdery residue after utilization. This residue can damage sensitive equipment (e.g. scratch optical equipment) and/or limit the capability of other machinery and instrumentation. Ventana Research will team-up with Kappler to develop a novel decontaminating wipe that is effective against chemical warfare (CW) agents while leaving no damaging residue behind.

CHA CORP.
372 West Lyon
Laramie, WY 82072
Phone:
PI:
Topic#:
(307) 742-2829
Chang Yul Cha
CBD 06-110      Awarded: 10MAY06
Title:Self-Contained Automated Vehicle Washing System with Microwave Decontamination
Abstract:Combat vehicles must be completely decontaminated to eliminate threats to the health and safety of military personnel. This necessitates a portable, field deployable, self-contained, and automated washing system. Wastewater, mud, and debris from washing operations must be treated to destroy harmful contaminants. An enclosed washing system with specialized decontamination equipment will reduce the threat to military personnel and allow the re-use of the wash water. The objective of this proposal is to develop a portable, automated vehicle washing system that collects the wash water and catalytically destroys the harmful contaminants in water. CHA Corporation has developed and field demonstrated microwave water decontamination technology. CHA Corporation has also developed microwave air and solid decontamination technologies. OctaFlex Environmental Systems developed and field demonstrated the Containerized Assembled Wash-down Facility (CAWF). CHA Corporation's microwave decontamination technology combined with OctaFlex's CAWF will provide a portable system for washing and decontaminating vehicles that recycles the water and protects military personnel from contacting dangerous contaminants. During Phase I the engineering design for a portable washing/decontamination unit combining the CHA and Octaflex systems will be developed and technical and economic feasibility will be assessed. A prototype system will be designed based on the Phase I engineering design.