Polymer-Based Competitive Flow Sensor Detects Contaminants in the FieldEPA Contract Number: 68D99031
Title: Polymer-Based Competitive Flow Sensor Detects Contaminants in the Field
Investigators: Coolbaugh, M. Todd
Small Business: American Research Corporation of Virginia
EPA Contact: Manager, SBIR Program
Project Period: September 1, 1999 through March 1, 2000
Project Amount: $70,000
RFA: Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) - Phase I (1999) RFA Text | Recipients Lists
Research Category: Ecological Indicators/Assessment/Restoration , SBIR - Monitoring , Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR)
Description:The need exists for rugged, sensitive, lightweight instruments capable of performing field assays of contaminants that would greatly decrease the time and cost of analysis. Molecularly imprinted polymers (MIP) are a class of synthetic polymers that may be tailored to selectively interact with nearly any environmental contaminant. This proposal suggests the development of a MIP-based competitive displacement flow sensor using diode laser-excited near-infrared (IR) fluorescence detection for soil and water analysis. The innovation of this proposal is the combination of the MIP displacement flow technology with near-IR fluorescence detection. The combination of these technologies will result in a low-cost field-usable device with high specificity and sensitivity that can be readily adapted to a large range of hazardous materials. The technical objectives of the Phase I program are the design and fabrication of a prototype sensor, synthesis of MIPs for several pesticides, synthesis of pesticides labeled with near- infrared fluorophores, and acquisition of test data to allow performance characterization and optimization of the prototype sensor system. The principles of experimental design will be used to maximize the experimental effort and allow objective evaluation of the results.
Successful completion of the Phase I program will result in a prototype molecularly imprinted polymer competitive displacement flow sensor system for use in detection of hazardous materials. The sensor will be developed into a manufacturable instrument in Phase II and will find commercial applications in the environmental, biomedical, and industrial process monitoring markets.