Nanoparticle-Enhanced Immunoassay for Monitoring Organic PollutantsEPA Contract Number: 68D03026
Title: Nanoparticle-Enhanced Immunoassay for Monitoring Organic Pollutants
Investigators: Bastiaans, Glenn J.
Small Business: Intelligent Optical Systems Inc.
EPA Contact: Richards, April
Project Period: April 1, 2003 through September 1, 2003
Project Amount: $69,996
RFA: Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) - Phase I (2003) RFA Text | Recipients Lists
Research Category: Nanotechnology , SBIR - Nanotechnology , Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR)
An important approach to limiting the pollution of our Nation's natural waters and drinking water supply is the development of field-deployable monitors to detect the presence of pollutants in ground and surface waters. Monitors can alert regulators to the presence of dangerous contaminants before they spread more widely through the ecosystem, thus protecting human health and the environment. Intelligent Optical Systems, Inc., proposes to develop a highly sensitive and specific monitor that can be operated in the field on a periodic or continuous basis with minimal maintenance.
The technology for the monitor will be based on the principles of displacement immunoassay using luminescent quantum dot nanoparticles as labels to enhance sensitivity. The small size of these nanoparticles induces quantum confinement effects that create a luminescence intensity much greater than currently used fluorescent dyes. The quantum dots also offer advantages in stability and spectral characteristics. Design innovations include features that enable continuous or periodic monitoring, enhancement of sensitivity, and adaptation of the immunoassay displacement method to measure the concentrations of small organic molecules. New immunofiltration methodology will enable long-term monitoring and enhance sensitivity. Innovations in imunoassay design are expected to extend the capabilities of the immunoassay to measure lower molecular weight contaminants.
Projected applications include monitoring remediation processes, monitoring groundwater and surface water in the vicinity of contaminated sites, detecting leakage from underground storage tanks and subsurface barriers, and monitoring drinking water supplies when contaminants have been found to be present at threatening levels. Potential customers include federal government agencies, chemical and manufacturing industries, and state and municipal governments.