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Sbir Phase I: Bio-Finfet Based Portable Electronic Sensor To Quantify Contaminant Levels In Food And Dairy Products


<p>This Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase I project aims to develop a new biosensor platform to simultaneously detect multiple contaminants (adulteration chemicals, antibiotics, and pathogens) in food and dairy products. The biosensor products are in a portable configuration, consisting of low-cost, electronic sensor strips and hand-held reader devices. The proposed sensor technology capable of femtoMolar sensitivity is based on patent-pending Si biochemical-fin field effect transistor (bio-finFET), similar to nanowire FETs. The project aims to establish this technology for proof-of-concept immunoassay tests for ultrasensitive, rapid, low-cost, and label-free quantification of various food contaminants such as melamine, antibiotics such as streptomycin (selected for proof-of-concept), and food borne pathogens (such as staphylococcus, in this study). The proposed Si bio-finFET chip technology has the possibility to become a general detection platform that can combine the advantages of LFI (low cost, portable, rapid test) and ELISA (multiple-analyte test, good specificity). Moreover, the bio-finFET can provide much better sensitivity than ELISA or LFI but without molecular labeling or staining.
<br>The broader impact/commercial potential of this project stems from the strong demand and market needs for food safety testing; specifically, the need for improved methods for testing for various food-safety hazards that can provide high specificity, high accuracy and quantification of contaminant levels, rapid testing, low cost, and accessibility to consumers as well as to the supply chain, with multi-analyte capability in a single test procedure. This Phase 1 proposal is targeted at proof-of-concept in meeting all these objectives, and providing superior performance to existing methods in all regards. The global food safety testing market by contaminants is estimated to grow to $4.1B by 2015, growing at a CAGR of 10.46 %. Melamine adulteration of milk products has been a major issue in recent years, primarily in China, resulting in 300,000 illnesses and at least 6 deaths. Other major concerns with milk product safety include antibiotic residues, and pathogens - this Phase 1 project will demonstrate proof-of-concept capability in all three areas. Milk product testing represents an important and sizable segment of the overall food-safety testing market; due to the importance of milk and dairy products in health and nutrition, as well as the financial value of the products involved.</p>

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