Automated Sample Collection and Concentration System for Multiple Pathogens in Water

EPA Contract Number: EPD07089
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: II
Project Period: May 1, 2007 through April 30, 2009
Project Amount: $224,998
RFA: Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) - Phase II (2007) Recipients Lists
Research Category: Drinking Water , Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) , SBIR - Water and Wastewater


The goal of this research 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 (CFC) with an innovative positively charged filter so that large (i.e., protozoan parasites and bacteria) and small (i.e., enteric viruses) bioparticles can be concentrated under an integrated platform. Because CFC is not subject to the limitations of traditional filtration approaches that are subject to fouling, and because its utility was evaluated extensively through Phase I study using a broad range of waterborne pathogens, the integration of CFC and cartridge filtration will extend the utility of the sample concentration platform to accommodate a diverse range of natural and treated water samples that cannot be processed using current filtration methods alone.

The system developed in this research project is intended to be compatible with current and commonly employed analytic detection techniques and other advanced detection methods such as real-time PCR, DNA microchip arrays, as well as other biosensors. This innovative sample collection and concentration system will provide concentrated samples for routine and advanced water quality monitoring, and will be readily incorporated as a front-end measure for rapid identification of bio-agents in the face of bioterrorism events and post-attack monitoring.

The final product is envisioned as an automated sample collection and concentration device that will accommodate a variety of water matrices ranging form finished drinking waters to particle-rich matrices such as surface and wastewaters. The open design of the automated system also will extend the utility of online and real-time sensor arrays for waterborne pathogens and indicator microorganisms.

Supplemental Keywords:

small business, SBIR, EPA, drinking water monitoring, water quality monitoring, biosensors, wastewater, bioterrorism, homeland security,, RFA, Scientific Discipline, INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION, Water, Environmental Chemistry, Environmental Monitoring, Drinking Water, Environmental Engineering, pathogens, real time analysis, bioterrorism, continuous flow centrifugation, filtration, drinking water monitoring

Progress and Final Reports:

  • Final

  • SBIR Phase I:

    Automated Sample Collection and Concentration System for Multiple Pathogens in Water  | Final Report