Hand-Held Fluorometer Using SELEX DNA Aptamer Strip Assays To Detect Cryptosporidium and Encephalitozoon

EPA Contract Number: 68D01044
Title: Hand-Held Fluorometer Using SELEX DNA Aptamer Strip Assays To Detect Cryptosporidium and Encephalitozoon
Investigators: Bruno, John G.
Small Business: Systems and Processes Engineering Corporation
Current Small Business: OmniSite BioDiagnostics Inc.
EPA Contact: Manager, SBIR Program
Phase: I
Project Period: April 1, 2001 through September 1, 2001
Project Amount: $70,000
RFA: Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) - Phase I (2001) RFA Text |  Recipients Lists
Research Category: Ecological Indicators/Assessment/Restoration , SBIR - Monitoring , Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR)


Systems & Processes Engineering Corporation (SPEC) proposes to develop receptors composed of DNA oligomers ("aptamers") from a combinatorial library for binding and detecting Cryptosporidium parvum oocysts and three species of Encephalitozoon spores. Aptamers will be generated by the Systematic Evolution of Ligands by EXponential enrichment (SELEX) combinatorial chemistry technique. SELEX aptamers offer several major advantages over antibody technology; most notably eliminating the use of animal hosts, resulting in reduced cost, as well as higher affinity and specificity to target pathogens of interest.

The Phase I objective is to generate a set of specific DNA aptamers to bind and detect oocysts and spores. Aptamer assay development will be designed for use on a magnetic bead-based cartridge for enhanced sample separation into various aptamer capture regions with subsequent detection using SPEC's proprietary hand-held fluorometer. In Phase II, SPEC will clone and sequence the aptamers and optimize assays for field and home use. In addition, SPEC will add the ability to transfer data from the fluorescence reader at remote locations to a Web site either by hardwire or wireless pager.

Supplemental Keywords:

small business, SBIR, monitoring, aptamer, fluorometer, engineering, chemistry, EPA, Cryptosporidium, Encephalitozoon, pathogens, water monitoring, RFA, Scientific Discipline, Water, Ecosystem Protection/Environmental Exposure & Risk, Chemistry, Monitoring/Modeling, Environmental Monitoring, Drinking Water, Engineering, Engineering, Chemistry, & Physics, Environmental Engineering, Pathology, cryptosporidium parvum oocysts, pathogens, encephalitozoon, aptamer, detect, cryptosporidium , microbial risk management

Progress and Final Reports:

  • Final Report