SBIR Phase I: Biosensors to Detect and Characterize Genotoxins

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


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Knudra Diagnostics
2500 South State
Salt Lake City, UT 84115
Principal Investigator, Firm POC


This Small Business Innovation Research Phase I project creates GeniStress Responder. GeniStress Responder is part of EkaTox, a family of toxicology diagnostics harnessing the power of comparative genomics in nematodes to make toxicology predictions in humans. GeniStress Responder identifies and characterizes mutagenic and carcinogenic compounds (genotoxins) using bioengineered nematodes. Multiple types of bioengineered nematodes are created and arranged into a GeniStress Responder panel. The panel's bioengineered nematodes become biosensors of genotoxic activity. Each biosensor works by using a specific genotoxin-sensitive gene to drive expression of a fluorescent-protein coding sequence. Exposure to a specific genotoxin elicits a specific pattern of activity in the GeniStress Responder panel. Feasibility is demonstrated when known genotoxins create specific toxicogenomic responses in the GeniStress Responder panel. The broader/commercial impacts of this research are introduction of improved genotoxicity diagnostics in the marketplace. Current technologies are inadequate. No single test is available to comprehensively profile different types of sample genotoxicity. The market needs an easy-to-use test for genotoxicity profiling. GeniStress Responder fills the market need for genotoxicity profiling in one simple diagnostic kit. With GeniStress Responder, a toxic compound's mechanism-of-action is determined in a shorter time and with fewer resources, than what can be achieved with current technology. GeniStress Responder's ease-of-use will accelerate drug discovery (cancer therapeutics) and environmental toxicology testing (cosmetics, plastics, super-fund site cleanup).