Topic Information Award/Contract Number Proposal Information Company Performance


NBCHC070099 0522007
(FY05.2 Phase II)
Handheld Multianalyte Biosensor Platform

TIRF Technologies
951 Aviation Parkway, Suite 700
Morrisville, NC 27560-9225


The overall goal of this project is to develop a handheld biosensor for rapid and sensitive detection of multiple biological analytes. The project primarily addresses the needs of first responders for detection of bioterrorism agents directly at the site of suspected attack. TIRF Technologies proposes to develop such handheld biosensor based on total internal reflection fluorescence (TIRF) combined with electrochemistry (TIRF-EC). The envisioned TIRF-EC sensor is capable of detecting multiple bioanalytes in a matter of several seconds or a few minutes. The detection limit is at the level of single molecules. Inexpensive sensor cartridge carries array of receptor molecules and contains all reagents for detection. The sensor cartridge is also equipped with a module, which performs sample preparation. To carry out the analysis, the operator inserts the cartridge, applies unpurified sample to the entrance port, and in several minutes reads the results of analysis at the handheld device. If manufactured massively, the envisioned biosensor will cost $200-400, and disposable sensor cartridges - $5-10. In Phase I, the feasibility of highly multiplexed handheld TIRF-EC biosensor was successfully demonstrated. A 4-pixel prototype of TIRF-EC sensor was built and tested. Since the electronics of 4-pixel prototype is capable of supporting up to 100 photodetectors, only several quantitative steps separate the project from building a highly multiplexed handheld biosensor. This Phase II application seeks support to develop a 64-analyte handheld biosensor based on TIRF-EC. Phase I also demonstrated the feasibility of rapid sample preparation integrated into miniature TIRF-EC sensor cartridge. In Phase II, 64-pixel TIRF-EC sensor and respective sensor cartridges will be developed, prototyped and validated in conjunction with reagentless fluorescence assays for detection DNA/RNA and protein signatures of bioterrorism agents. The envisioned handheld TIRF-EC biosensor will enable first responders with a powerful tool capable to rapidly detect multiple bioterrorism agents with minimum false positive and false negative responses. This will allow for designing efficient counter measures and avoiding unnecessary interruptions of normal life. TIRF-EC biosensor represents a flexible platform technology; it can be reconfigured for other applications. Prospective market for the envisioned handheld biosensor encompasses biomedical, forensic, food analysis, agricultural, and environmental applications.