A Rapid Coliform Detector

Period of Performance: 01/01/2012 - 12/31/2012


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Orbital Technologies Corporation (ORBITEC)
Space Center, 1212 Fourier Drive
Madison, WI
Principal Investigator
Firm POC


ORBITEC, in collaboration with Lucigen, proposes a rapid genetic detector for spaceflight water systems to enable real-time detection of E. coli with minimal consumables and crew time. The Rapid Coliform Detector (RCD) amplifies the genetic material in a liquid sample to allow near real-time identification of specific genetic sequences, in this case, that of E. coli. This easy-to-use device incorporates a patented polymerase enzyme that enables rapid RNA amplification by reagents with superior long-term shelf life and thermal stability. A color change indicator will show the presence or absence of coliform bacteria in the water within 30 minutes. The results of the Phase 1 will be test data from prototype test kits and chemical reagents for rapid coliform detection which brings the RCD to TRL 4. The anticipated results of the Phase 2 are a flight-like prototype of the complete test kit and reaction chamber, performance test results at 1g, and reduced gravity operational test results, which bring the technology to TRL 6.