Labeless, Reagentless, Biosensor

Period of Performance: 06/25/1998 - 12/25/1998


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Agave Biosystems, Inc.
P.O. Box 100
Ithaca, NY 14850
Principal Investigator


The preponderance of biosensors under development today rely on labeling reagents such as fluorescent, radioisotopic or enzymatic tags. As a result, the added complexity of these reagents and their incorporation into the detection system has resulted in designs that are difficult to implement or that require significant sample preparation steps before introduction into the detection instrument. While increasing signal, these labels also increase noise, can negatively impact on specificity and overall in the signal-to-noise ratio. In short, the need for reagents by current systems has created significant obstacles to fielding a truly portable, reliable and easy to use biosensor, i.e., one that can be used by the warfighter without significant training or preparation. To meet these needs, Agave BioSystems proposes to develop a truly labeless and reagentless biosensor based upon the optical diffraction of analyte bound to reflective silicon. Key to this effort is the innovative, proprietary microcontact printing technology of Agave BioSystems and its collaborator. This technology allows the precise placement of arrays of biological recognition molecules to form gratings which coupled with optical defraction allows the reagentless detection of multiple targets.