Development of a Novel Virus Capture System Using Positively Charged Silica Matrix

EPA Contract Number: EPD05037
Title: Development of a Novel Virus Capture System Using Positively Charged Silica Matrix
Investigators: Hsu, Fu-Chih
Small Business: Scientific Methods, Inc.
EPA Contact: Manager, SBIR Program
Phase: I
Project Period: March 1, 2005 through August 31, 2005
Project Amount: $69,930
RFA: Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) - Phase I (2005) RFA Text |  Recipients Lists
Research Category: Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) , Water and Watersheds , SBIR - Water and Wastewater


The need for a simple, reliable, efficient, and inexpensive virus capture system is an essential step for detecting viruses, such as adenoviruses, caliciviruses, coxsackieviruses, and echoviruses on the Contaminant Candidate List 2 and found in water supplies. The currently available methods are membrane-based techniques that require preconditioning water samples before filtration or expensive filters. Some filters are cumbersome and make it impossible to collect water samples in the field. The focus of this research project is to develop a novel virus capture system that will be both cost-effective and efficient for recovering viruses from water samples. An inexpensive porous silica matrix with high positive surface charge density produced by functionalized chemical groups and with large pores to allow through flow will be fabricated and evaluated for virus recovery. Elution buffer containing different surfactants will be investigated to optimize elution efficiency.

Viruses should adsorb into positively charged porous silica by colloid-like electrostatic attraction and dissociate when the surface charge of porous silica is neutralized or altered with surfactants. The positively charged silica matrix can be packed into different sized columns suitable for different types of water matrices. This generic virus capture filter can be used at source water with a large column, drinking water with a medium-sized column, and other water matrices. It is more cost-effective to select the correct size column to fit the types of water sampled while using the same silica matrix?an advantage not available with the current membrane filters. The product also can be used for drinking water and wastewater security investigations in case of emergency response to viral contaminants. Scientific Methods, Inc.?s proposed technology will be efficient in the recovery of viruses and very cost effective for water industries.

Supplemental Keywords:

small business, SBIR, virus capture system, silica matrix, adenoviruses, caliciviruses, coxsackieviruses, echoviruses, Contaminant Candidate List 2, membrane, filter, water, wastewater security, EPA, RFA, Scientific Discipline, Water, POLLUTANTS/TOXICS, Environmental Chemistry, Drinking Water, Environmental Engineering, Microorganisms, CCL, viruses, adenoviruses, calciviruses, community water system, echoviruses, silica matrix, water disinfection, drinking water contaminants, drinking water treatment, silicate sorbent, electrostatic attraction virus capture

Progress and Final Reports:

  • Final Report
  • SBIR Phase II:

    Development of a Novel Virus Capture System Using Positively Charged Silica Matrix