Handheld MEMS-Based Detector of Toxins and Toxigenic Organisms Indicative of Harmful Algal Bloom

EPA Contract Number: EPD07057
Title: Handheld MEMS-Based Detector of Toxins and Toxigenic Organisms Indicative of Harmful Algal Bloom
Investigators: Hobson, Stephen T
Small Business: Seacoast Science, Inc.
EPA Contact: Manager, SBIR Program
Phase: I
Project Period: March 1, 2007 through August 31, 2007
Project Amount: $69,971
RFA: Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) - Phase I (2007) RFA Text |  Recipients Lists
Research Category: Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) , SBIR - Water and Wastewater


Seacoast Science proposes the extension of our MEMS-based sensor technology to provide near real-time detection, identification, and quantification of toxins and toxigenic organisms indicative of cyanobacteria harmful algal blooms (cyanoHABs) in drinking water to provide administrators the information for public safety. Different monoclonal antibody conjugates will be mapped onto each sensor using a proprietary inkjet deposition process. Both the selective and nonselective binding of the antigen (toxin) with the mAb-C conjugate array will result in a change in dielectric properties of the sensor matrix that will be detected and processed, giving appropriate readings. Specificity inherent in the antigen-antibody binding should limit the fraction of false positives and the use of redundant sensors should lower the fraction of false negatives. The nature of our proposed system allows for rapid analysis (≤ 10 minutes) with immediate display and optional linking (remotely or directly) of the signal to a computer system for automated reading and storage.

Supplemental Keywords:

small business, SBIR, EPA, harmful algal blooms, cyanobacteria, cyanoHABs, MEMS-based sensor technology,, RFA, Scientific Discipline, Water, Ecosystem Protection/Environmental Exposure & Risk, algal blooms, Environmental Monitoring, early warning capabilities, drinking water, algal bloom detection, MEMS based sensor

Progress and Final Reports:

  • Final Report