Topic Information Award/Contract Number Proposal Information Company Performance

Chem-Bio Sensors Employing Novel Receptor Scaffolds

NBCHC040079 04110255
(FY04.1 Phase I)
Phage Derived Receptor Scaffold

Weld Star Technology, Inc.
610 Jennifer Dr.
Auburn, AL 36830-7110


The risk of biological terrorism is significant because of the high potency, widespread availability, and ease of dissemination of some biological threat agents. The earliest recognition of a bioterrorist attack may be indicated only by the clinical manifestation of the intended disease which, in some cases, can take days to weeks to present itself. Furthermore, laboratory confirmation of the diagnosis requires additional time. Despite the rapid advances in the development of identification methods such as fluorescent polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), sensors that continuously monitor for the first signs of exposure to biological threat agents are needed. <br><br>Any monitoring device for the detection of biological threat agents requires a scaffolding probe as part of the sensing platform that is capable of binding the target agent. Many of the currently proposed monitoring devices utilize antibodies as the molecular recognition probe. A good antibody may be very selective in targeting a particular antigen; however, an antibody is a relatively fragile species whose binding characteristics rapidly degrade when exposed to unfavorable environments. Antibodies require affinity purification and stabilization for use as a scaffolding probe which significantly increases their cost. A stable, reproducible and inexpensive alternative to antibodies for use as a molecular recognition probe is needed. <br><br>Phage possess many of the desirable features of antibodies and have been shown to serve as a substitute for antibodies by binding soluble and cell-displayed antigens and receptors. Phage may exhibit high affinity, increased specificity and selectivity, long term stability as well as enhanced robustness compared with antibodies. In this Phase I effort, a phage derived probe for spores of B. anthracis will be investigated and compared with commercially available antibodies with respect to its ability to serve as a receptor scaffold on a biosensor platform. Techniques for the immobilization of the phage derived probe onto a unique sensing platform will also be examined in a parallel effort.<br>

Advanced Low Cost Aerosol Collectors for Surveillance Sensors and Personal Monitoring

NBCHC040110 04110360
(FY04.1 Phase I)
A Novel, Low Power, High Throughput, High Efficiency, Scalable Electrostatic Bioaerosol Sampler

CFD Research Corporation
215 Wynn Dr.
5th Floor
Huntsville, AL 35805-1926


Current bioaerosol monitoring strategies rely on inertia-based sampling and suffer from high power consumption and low efficiency limitations. In contrast, our overall objective is to design and demonstrate a novel electrostatic sampler that provides dramatic improvements including low power requirement (<100W), high throughput (500-1000L/min), high collection efficiency (>90% for 1-10mm), high viability (>80%), scalability for varying threat scenarios, low noise, and concentration of particles in liquid buffer. In an additional unique feature, our device will be able to discriminate desired size range, e.g., respirable fraction, from atmospheric background. The proposed technology will leverage on ongoing efforts at CFDRC to develop a personal-sized biosensor-sampler. Our main challenge is to increase throughput to 1000L/min while maintaining high efficiencies and minimizing losses. We will extend our existing technology by using a judicious combination of multiphysics analysis and experimentation. In Phase I, we will design, fabricate and test an electrostatic collector with innovative electrode design, along with charge modulation to maximize efficiency. Phase II will involve scale-up, system integration, and testing with class-based simulants and agents.

Marine Asset Tag Tracking System

NBCHC040063 04110249
(FY04.1 Phase I)
Marine Asset Tag Using Near Field Electromagnetic Ranging

Q-Track Corporation
3414 Governors Drive
Huntsville, AL 35805-3672


We propose a Marine Asset Tag Tracking System (MATTS) using a breakthrough wireless tracking technology called near field electromagnetic ranging (NFER(TM)). The primary objective of Phase I is to validate that NFER(TM) technology is the best RF solution for tracking containers on ships and in ports. Phase I will also (1) develop an overall architecture for the MATTS; (2) design the container tag; (3) design the NFER(TM) access point; (4) prepare a conceptual design of the local Data Center, and (5) define the data link to the Global Data Center. MATTS should be capable of tracking containers in the following marine environments: (a) being loaded aboard ships, (b) stacked in a ship, (c) being unloaded, and (d) being moved and stacked in shipping terminals. Even without a NFER(TM) infrastructure at a port or ship, a DHS official should be able to use a NFER(TM) receiver to locate a specific container in a stack of containers provided the targeted container has a NFER(TM) tag. Q-Track Corporation, the pioneer in NFER(TM) technology, has teamed with On-Line Applications Research Corporation (OAR). OAR has over two decades of experience in architecture design, networking, sensor integration, and software engineering for federal information systems.