Fluorescent Coated Filters for the Detection of Biological Warfare Agents in Water

Period of Performance: 09/03/2002 - 03/02/2003


Phase 1 STTR

Recipient Firm

Sensera, Inc.
200 Turnpike Road
Chelmsford, MA 01824
Principal Investigator
Firm POC

Research Institution

University of Central Florida
4000 Central Florida Boulevard
Orlando, FL 32816
Institution POC


Sensera, Inc., in collaboration with U. of Central Florida, proposes to develop a rapid real-time sensor for fluorescent detection of Biological Warfare Agent (BWA) micro-organisms in water. The proposed sensor does not require the additional steps of typical heterogeneous immunoassays such as: multiple reagent additions, incubation, and washing steps. We propose two biomimetic coating platforms with their own distinctive advantages for pre-concentrating BWAs, as well as providing an environment conducive to bio-recognition. These platforms are such that their physicochemical properties can be easily and systematically tuned for optimum binding and signal generation. Commercial fluorophores - as well as fluorophores developed in our laboratories - that possess much higher photo-stabilities and fluorescence quantum yields will be used as probes. The resulting sensors will feature reduced leaching of the probe into the biological medium, alleviating toxicity and contamination concerns, and assuring intimate interaction between the BWAs and the probes. In Phase I, we will develop a fluorescent polymerized biomimetic filter coating for the detection of a model BWA simulant. Phase II will be devoted to developing this membrane platform for the detection of multiple BWAs, designing and constructing the fluidics hardware, and the complete characterization of the resulting sensors. The proposed rapid biosensor will find commercial application in real-time monitoring of water reservoirs, livestock and crops. Other commercial applications include: food-quality monitoring and sensors for the personal security industry.