SBIR Phase II: A Label-Free SERS-Capture Assay in Microchips for Biological Warfare Agents

Period of Performance: 01/01/2010 - 12/31/2010


Phase 2 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Real-time Analyzers
362 Industrial Park Road Suite #8
Middletown, CT 06457
Principal Investigator


This Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase II project will develop a prototype analyzer that can detect, identify, and quantify the presence of Category A (B and C) bioagents at the required specificity and sensitivity (e.g. in air 104 spores/m3, 100 organisms/m3 and 2-300 mg toxin/m3) within 10 minutes. The analyzers will incorporate a novel surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS)-based assay into sample systems read by a portable Raman spectrometer. The assays will be functionalized to selectively capture specific bioagents and generate unique SER spectra when irradiated by the analyzer laser. During Phase I, feasibility was demonstrated by selectively binding and detecting 25 ppm B. cereus (a B. anthracis surrogate) in the presence of 250 ppm B. subtilis. During Phase II, the assays will be developed to detect several real agents, such as B. anthracis (anthrax), Yersinia pestis (Plague), Francisella tularensis (Tularemia), and Clostridium botulinum (Botulism). The assays will then be incorporated into a product prototype that autonomously detects aerosolized bioagents. The analytical capabilities of the prototype will be validated at the US Army's Edgewood Chemical Biological Center.