Field Test Kits for Rapid Detection of Hazardous Contaminants on Indoor SurfacesEPA Contract Number: EPD07023
Title: Field Test Kits for Rapid Detection of Hazardous Contaminants on Indoor Surfaces
Investigators: Zhou, Xichun
Small Business: ADA Technologies Inc.
EPA Contact: Manager, SBIR Program
Project Period: March 1, 2007 through October 10, 2007
Project Amount: $70,000
RFA: Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) - Phase I (2007) RFA Text | Recipients Lists
Research Category: SBIR - Homeland Security , Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR)
Fieldable, simple, cost-saving detection technologies for biological and chemical hazards are in great demand by security, emergency response, and military forces. Experienced in developing toxin detection and environmental pollutant monitoring technologies, ADA Technologies, Inc. proposes to develop novel test kits for the rapid collection and identification of biological and chemical hazards on indoor surfaces. The field test kits include litmus paper-like test strips, treated cotton swabs for collecting indoor surface contaminants, and a portable fluorescent reader. The proposed test strips are based on binding-induced fluorescent resonance energy transfer (FRET) detection by employing an aptamer molecular beacon specific to the hazardous agent as the recognition element and fluorescent quantum dots as signal development. The test strip combines the advantages of highly specific and stable aptamer receptors, nanotechnology, and immunochromatographic bioassays. In the Phase I feasibility demonstration, ADA will develop and evaluate prototype test strips based on the binding-induced FRET immunoassays for detection of biological simulants of anthrax spores and ricin and botulinum toxins. Based on the success of Phase I, in Phase II of this project ADA will generate aptamers specific to other biological and chemical hazards such as smallpox, plague, and highly toxic pesticides, and develop test strip panels embedded with multiple aptamer probes in arrayed format for simultaneous detection of multiple biological and chemical hazard contaminants in a single measurement. Phase II work also will include leveraging a commercially available portable fluorescence reader in addition to testing field performance in terms of the selectivity and robustness.
This proposed research will provide an improved understanding of the use of aptamers as a specific receptor for the detection of a wide range of chemical and biological toxins. The results of this research will lead to rapid, cost-effective, fieldable test kits with prolonged storage life and low rates of false positive−false negative response. The test kit technology also can be adapted to construct tests for many other important substances such as drugs, toxins, and heavy metals leading to applications in assessing drinking water, the environment, food safety, and medical testing.