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Sbir Phase I: Rapid Detection Of Fecal Contamination In Drinking Water

Investigators
Woods, Daniel F
Institutions
Inscent Inc
Start date
2009
End date
2009
Abstract

This award is funded under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (Public Law 111-5).This Small Business Innovation Research Phase I Project concerns a novel, rapid and cost-effective detection system for fecal contamination in water supplies. The need for better water safety screening is exemplified by the outbreak of E. coli serotype O157:H7, a pathogen found in fecal matter, in September, 2006 that was traced to contamination of spinach in California. Food poisonings were noted in several states, necessitating responses from agencies such as the Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control to protect the public. Although existing methods can detect fecal contamination in water samples, improvements are needed in sensitivity, accuracy, and speed. This proposal describes the refinement of a novel sensor technology that uses insect chemosensory proteins (CSPs) as recognition elements for fast, sensitive biosensors to detect very low levels of fecal contamination in water samples and can be used at home or in industry.
The broader impacts of this research are as a platform technology with direct applications in the detection of environmental, chemical, or biological compounds or contaminants, including the detection of harmful volatile organic compounds (VOCs), quality control of foods and pharmaceuticals and the detection of volatile compounds present in weapons or explosives.. Thus, the utilized platform technology has immediate application to a variety of important sensor and detector implementations that affect numerous industries, public safety, and public health. The application described herein 'A fecal contamination detector for monitoring water safety', is only one example of the applications possible.

Funding Source
United States Nat'l. Science Fndn.
Project number
912933
Categories
Legislation and Regulations
Prevention and Control
Escherichia coli