Reactive Fluorescent Sensors for Detecting CW Agents at Sub-Chronic Levels

Period of Performance: 04/21/2004 - 10/20/2004

$70K

Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Nomadics, Inc.
1024 S. Innovation Way
Stillwater, OK 74074
Principal Investigator

Abstract

None of the current chemical warfare (CW) agent sensors or field test kits has sufficient sensitivity to detect nerve and blister agents at allowable exposure level (AEL) concentrations. Thanks to a remarkable chromophore developed by Professor Timothy Swager at MIT, Nomadics believes that we can achieve these detection levels in a small, low-cost sensor. Recently, Nomadics has demonstrated an exciting new fluorescence-based chemical warfare agent sensor that provides very high sensitivity with a unique selectivity to the toxicity of these agents. The platform is soon to be tested against live agents and has not responded to any potential interferent other than substances which are themselves hazardous materials. Because the chromophores are so sensitive, use a dark-field detection mechanism, require only simple optics and electronics, and because of Nomadics' extensive experience in developing low-cost, sensitive, rugged field instruments, we expect to be able to demonstrate a functional model in Phase I that will confirm the system's potential as a practical handheld CW agent detector.