A Portable Biosensor for the Monitoring of Pentachlorophenol in Pump and Treat Water

EPA Contract Number: 68D00233
Title: A Portable Biosensor for the Monitoring of Pentachlorophenol in Pump and Treat Water
Investigators: Bowen, John
Small Business: Critical Angle L.L.C.
EPA Contact: Manager, SBIR Program
Phase: I
Project Period: September 1, 2000 through March 1, 2001
Project Amount: $69,991
RFA: Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) - Phase I (2000) RFA Text |  Recipients Lists
Research Category: Ecological Indicators/Assessment/Restoration , SBIR - Monitoring , Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR)


The Phase I objective is to investigate the proof of concept of a biosensor capable of rapid, onsite identification and quantitation of an example chlorinated aromatic, pentachlorophenol (PCP), without the use of prior separation or preconcentration. Designed for pump and treat monitoring, this biosensor will be capable of accepting a small (approximately 150 L) sample of water. The sample will be automatically buffered, and the identity and amount of the specific compound will be determined by the instrument platform. The biosensor is based on immobilized and stabilized antibodies for PCP, which provide for the extreme sensitivity and specificity of the biosensor, even in the presence of a mixture of similar compounds that would interfere with other methods of analysis. These biosensor surfaces are designed to be disposable and inexpensive, and the time of analysis will be less than about 3 minutes onsite. Detection of the antibody-PCP interaction is accomplished rapidly and automatically through the use of a customized surface plasmon resonance (SPR) spectrometer. The biosensor will be tested against simulated contaminated waters, and actual pump and treat water supplied from the Union Pacific Rail Road-Laramie Tie Plant (UPRR-LTC), which is a CERCLA site, by the environmental consulting firm CH2M Hill. The results for the biosensor will be compared against analytical results from the SW846 method 8270, a method using GC/MS. The biosensor will be tested for selectivity and for false positives with other chlorophenol compounds as well as other compounds found in the UPRR-LTP pump and treat waters.

This proposed biosensor already has excited the interest of the international environmen-tal consulting firm CH2M Hill and the Hach Company, another international company that produces water quality instrumentation. These companies have agreed to follow the development of this instrument with respect to possible future alliances with Critical Angle for its production.

Supplemental Keywords:

small business, SBIR, hazardous waste, monitoring, analytical, pump and treat water, remediation, engineering, chemistry, EPA., RFA, Scientific Discipline, Water, Ecosystem Protection/Environmental Exposure & Risk, Chemical Engineering, Environmental Chemistry, Monitoring/Modeling, Civil/Environmental Engineering, Engineering, Chemistry, & Physics, Environmental Engineering, multi-analyte systems, multianalyte biosensor, biosensors, biosensor, multianalyte biosensor field screening instrument (MBFI), pump and treat water

Progress and Final Reports:

  • Final