Automated Sample Collection and Concentration System for Multiple Pathogens in Water

EPA Contract Number: EPD06055
Title: Automated Sample Collection and Concentration System for Multiple Pathogens in Water
Investigators: Hsu, Fu-Chih
Small Business: Scientific Methods, Inc.
EPA Contact: Richards, April
Phase: I
Project Period: March 1, 2006 through August 31, 2006
Project Amount: $69,999
RFA: Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) - Phase I (2006) RFA Text |  Recipients Lists
Research Category: Drinking Water , SBIR - Water and Wastewater , Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR)


The goal of this Phase I project is to develop a simple, rapid, and highly automated sample collection system that will concentrate a broad range of pathogens simultaneously. The system will integrate continuous flow centrifugation with an innovative positively charged filter so that large (i.e., protozoan parasites and bacteria) and small (i.e., enteric viruses) biologically active particles can be concentrated in a single procedure. The system developed in this research project will be fully compatible with current and commonly employed analytic detection techniques and other advanced detection methods such as real-time polymerase chain reaction, DNA microchip arrays, as well as other biosensors. This innovative sample collection and concentration device will provide sample concentrates for the direct detection of waterborne pathogens using molecular techniques or biosensors for routine monitoring water quality as well as an emergency response platform that will aid rapid identification for both of biological weapon attacks and post-attack monitoring during remediation.

The final product is envisioned as an automated sample collection and concentration device that will be capable of handling a variety of water matrices ranging from drinking water to wastewater because of the inherent capacity of continuous flow centrifugation to accommodate particle-laden waters and avoid the fouling problem common to all filtration methods when high-turbidity water samples are processed. The automated system also will make it possible to perform online and real-time monitoring of waterborne pathogens or fecal indicators when the system is coupled with other rapid detection systems such as biosensoring techniques.

Supplemental Keywords:

small business, SBIR, waterborne pathogens, drinking water, water quality, drinking water monitoring, microbial agents, biosensors, biological weapon detection, wastewater, groundwater, fecal indicators, public health, terrorism, terrorist attack, homeland security, water protection, EPA,, RFA, Scientific Discipline, Water, Environmental Chemistry, Analytical Chemistry, Environmental Monitoring, Drinking Water, Environmental Engineering, homeland security, pathogens, bioterrorism, biopollution, waterborne pathogens, community water system, drinking water monitoring, polymerase chain reaction, analytical methods, continuous monitoring sensors, biosensor, DNA microarrays

Progress and Final Reports:

  • Final Report
  • SBIR Phase II:

    Automated Sample Collection and Concentration System for Multiple Pathogens in Water