Topic Information Award/Contract Number Proposal Information Company Performance

Low-Cost and Rapid DNA-based Biometric Device

N10PC20105 0912003
(FY09.1 Phase II)
Customized STR Typing System for Kinship Analysis

NetBio, Inc.
830 Winter Street
Waltham, MA 02451-1477


First described in the early 1990`s, short tandem repeat (STR) analysis is the gold standard of human identification. With a false identification rate as low as one in hundreds of trillions, STR analysis is a powerful tool for determining human identification objectively. The goal of this work is to improve the ability to evaluate kinship based on STR analyses. By creating an STR assay system that allows more accurate determination of kinship, DHS responsibilities such as granting asylum, processing applications for relatives to come to the US, and deterring child trafficking and illegal adoptions can be enhanced significantly. Current STR assays are highly effective for determining the likelihood of first degree relationships (parent-child and sibling-sibling) but are less effective at more distant relationships. By increasing the number of STR loci tested in a given assay, more distant relationships can be determined. The proposed work would result in such an improved assay, building on NetBio`s experience in designing systems that rapidly process nucleic acids without human intervention. It is hoped that this technology will improve the safety of society in general, and protect some of the most vulnerable members of our society in particular.

Low-Cost and Rapid DNA-based Biometric Device

N10PC20104 0912007
(FY09.1 Phase II)
Low-cost and Rapid DNA Sequencer for Biometric Applications

Advanced Liquid Logic, Inc.
615 Davis Drive, Suite 800
PO Box 14025
Research Triangle Park, NC 27709-3169


Advanced Liquid Logic proposes to develop a low-cost and rapid biometric system based on DNA. Using a miniaturized DNA sequencing format the device will enable DNA-based identification of individuals as well as determination of family relationships (kinship) between individuals. The system will be implemented using Advanced Liquid Logic`s proprietary Digital Microfluidics technology, which is based on the use of electrical fields to precisely and programmably manipulate liquid droplets within a self-contained cartridge. Complex analytical procedures can be flexibly implemented as a sequence of computer-controlled droplet operations without the use of pumps or valves. Both the instrument and the disposable cartridge can be made extremely inexpensively to provide a low cost per test with minimal infrastructural investment. In the Phase I project Advanced Liquid Logic was tasked with developing detailed product requirements, evaluating the proposed technological approach and performing preliminary design and conception of the proposed product. Based on the Phase I studies, a Phase II project is proposed in which a working prototype will be delivered for evaluation by DHS. Following completion of the Phase II project a Phase III product development effort will be launched to deliver a commercial rapid DNA testing product that meets DHS`s requirements.

Submillimeter-wave Vector Measurements for Explosive Materials

N10PC20044 0912004
(FY09.1 Phase II)
Modular Frequency Extenders for Vector Network Analyzers

Virginia Diodes Incorporated
979 Second Street SE
Suite 309
Charlottesville, VA 22902-6172


Modular system will be developed to extend the frequency range of Vector Network Analyzers to at least 1 THz. These extenders will offer excellent dynamic range and stability, as well as the capability for fully calibrated measurements. The extenders will rely on innovative full waveguide band frequency multipliers and mixers that utilize planar, integrated Schottky diode circuits. The modular extender systems will allow rapid reconfiguration of the components for operation in multiple waveguide bands, while maintaining low cost. During Phase 1 VDI demonstrated the modular extender concepts and delivered a WR2.2 frequency extender with exceptional dynamic range and excellent stability. Phase 2 will emphasize the development of modular extenders for the complete 100GHz to 1,000GHz frequency band. This includes development of the individual components that most affect system performance, as well as the development of the extender systems to yield reliable and cost effective products. The deliverable system, covering 100GHz to 1,000GHz, will serve as a prototype for the sales of VNA extenders for the wider commercial market; which includes national, industrial and university research laboratories that are developing new technologies and applications for the terahertz frequency band.

Non Antibody-Based, Selective and Rapid Protein Analysis for Detection of Viruses and Bacteria in Environmental Samples

N10PC20052 0912005
(FY09.1 Phase II)
Generation of Bivalent Aptamers with High Affinity and Selectivity of Viruses and Bacteria from Environmental Samples

Radiation Monitoring Devices, Inc.
44 Hunt Street
Watertown, MA 02472-4699


Better methodologies for the rapid detection of pathogenic bacteria and viruses are needed. A particular problem with current antibody-based assays is cross-reactivity with similar, but harmless, species. Radiation Monitoring Devices, Inc. proposes developing nucleic acid-based affinity reagents (aptamers) against botulinum neurotoxin, as well as against a model pathogenic virus (VSV) and spore (Bacillus subtilis). Aptamers displaying fast binding rates (kon) will be selected to increase the speed of the assay. A novel approach using bivalent, bispecific aptamers will be utilized to achieve binding affinities at least equal to that of typical antibodies. The aptamer selectivity will be enhanced by employing counterselection procedures whereby aptamers binding related species are deselected. Finally, the aptamers will be applied to an ELISA-like protocol and their performance directly compared to antibodies. Anticipated Benefits/Commercial Application A more rapid, sensitive, and selective assay for the detection of bacteria and viruses will have widespread applications in homeland security, the military, healthcare, and food safety. The assay could be used to screen ports of entry, public places of interest, and military sites for evidence of biological threat agents. Likewise, the assay could be used in a laboratory or clinical setting to rapidly diagnose infectious diseases.

Decision Analytic Approaches for CBRN Terrorism Risk Assessment

N10PC20261 0914008
(FY09.1 Phase II)
TRAnalyst(tm): Terrorism Risk Analyzer for CBRN Threats

Intelligent Systems Technology Inc
12122 Victoria Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90066-3118


Protecting against CBRN attacks requires an understanding and identification of the aspects, assessment of vulnerabilities, determination of potential impacts, and development and allocation of the most cost-effective, productive countermeasures and defense. Conducting such analyses requires tools that facilitate decision making based on identified risks. To this end, Phase I of this effort produced and demonstrated a decision-analytic methodology and corresponding proof-of-feasibility demonstration prototype to: discriminate CBRN threats by risk; conduct sensitivity analyses to understand key risk drivers; and evaluate medical countermeasures risk management strategies. Phase II of this effort is concerned with using the Phase I methodology to produce a fully-functional CBRN Terrorism Risk Assessment Tool that enables analyses of key risk drivers and evaluation of medical countermeasures strategies for a full range of CBRN Terrorism threat scenarios as documented in the National Planning Scenarios publication.

Hard Drive Unlocking

N10PC20218 0912009
(FY09.1 Phase II)
Evidence Preserving Hard Disk Unlocking System

Luna Innovations Incorporated
1 Riverside Circle
Suite 400
Roanoke, VA 24016-4962


Luna Innovations will design and develop a hard disk unlocking system that is easily usable by forensic technicians while preserving evidentiary integrity. Our solution will be robust even against anticipated future drive features and drives modified by criminals to have certain anti-tamper properties. This is important as it is nearly certain that manufacturers or criminals will develop such countermeasures to systems not designed with such foresight. Examples of related technology include modern flash drives which employ encryption, authentication, and anti-tamper technologies, like the IronKey (, Seagate Full Disk Encryption, and others. We will design our system to be user friendly: specifically, it will illustrate exactly what must be done with a given drive. Law enforcement personnel will access and copy password-protected hard disk drives quickly and with confidence in maintaining evidence integrity for later prosecution. We envision an expanded market of state and local investigatory organs which will benefit communities by placing the resource close to more searches in order to obtain timely clues to related criminal efforts. Indeed, such functionality will be needed in the future as more sophisticated criminals use computers to organize their enterprises.

Highly Scalable Identity Management Tools

N10PC20106 0914001
(FY09.1 Phase II)
Location-based service for Federal Identity, Credential & Access Management

Queralt LLC
250 State Street
Unit G-1
North Haven, CT 06473-2182


Queralt LLC is developing a location-based service that increases security and scalability of access control for logical systems, by providing geospatial coordinates as attributes of policy decision requests using RFID & GPS sensor data. Government agencies temporarily share access to their logical systems, often during critical times (e.g. emergency events) but must do so in a way that protects both against system misuse and privacy concerns. Queralt`s service is based on open ratified standards that facilitate scalable interoperability between agencies. This service protects against system misuse by increasing the security options of policy creators, to include location-based attributes. During Phase II, Queralt will deliver an end-to-end Identification Management (IdM) prototype which gathers location of the person requesting access to the logical system, and formulates a request from the enforcement point to the decision point, with appended user location coordinates. Queralt will develop and test market a Policy Enforcement Point, and location-based service which can be deployed and seamlessly co-exist with current solutions in a Federated Identity Management system. Anticipated Benefits: The ability to use location in IdM will enable DHS, and customer agencies, to implement more rapid and secure information sharing protocol. The use of policies that reason with geographical boundaries of events and user locations drastically reduce the time required to setup secure sharing of sensitive information across agencies during critical events, something that will increase the effectiveness of rapid response operations. It will do so through an automated decision making process that requires less human resources, hence less costs, while enforcing more secure policies that check both user credentials and physical presence in the area of a rapid response operation before granting access to sensitive logical resources, hence less risk of system misuse.

Autonomous (or alternative) In-Liquid Survey Vehicle

N10PC20213 0914010
(FY09.1 Phase II)
BIOSwimmer: In-Liquid Inspection System

Boston Engineering Corporation
411 Waverley Oaks Road
Suite 114
Waltham, MA 02452-8414


This project addresses a critical need in the nation`s infrastructure and border protection, inspection inside tanks on large ships in port. These missions must be performed in a timely, effective, and safe manner in challenging environments. The BIOSwimmer system is an end-to-end solution that includes sensing, post processing, control, and a biomimetic autonomous swimming vehicle that provides efficiency, maneuverability and payload integration capability largely unavailable in other platforms. This PH II includes development of advanced sensing to perform in-liquid inspections with accuracy and reliability as well as design and prototyping in support of a Phase II vehicle build and demonstration. Additional work includes developing support equipment and testing them in realistic situations. The team will work hand in hand with end users, DHS, and actual tanker owners to provide an appropriate solution. A full specification effort is followed by the creation of a system specification for review with end users. Testing efforts provide confidence in the resulting product`s reliability, safety and ability to be certified and approved for use in the field. PH II provides a feasible, cost effective solution with a direct path towards commercialization and insertion into several relevant markets. Commercialization is a major focus of PH II.