Jan. 1, 2008 - Jun. 30, 2008Award Number
National Science FoundationAmount Awarded
Xiaoli Su, Ph.D.
Biodetection Instruments, LLC
This Small Business Innovation Research Phase I research project will develop a versatile high throughput bioassay system. The proposed system will be built on a patent-pending biosensing technology that has been exclusively licensed from the University of Arkansas. Using this technology, the company has obtained promising preliminary results for rapid and sensitive detection of food-borne pathogens, protein biomarkers, and pesticide residues. The Phase I research will focus on increasing sample throughput, reducing cross-contamination, and simplifying operation by developing a valveless mutichannel parallel bioassay system. The proposed system will consist of an automated sample/reagent delivery module, an easy-to-change multichannel biosensor cartridge, and an interface providing on-cartridge optical detection. Escherichia coli O157:H7, one of the most common and dangerous food-borne pathogens, will be used as the model target for the feasibility study. Microbial contamination of food products by pathogenic bacteria remains a major concern of our society. Food-borne illness affects millions of Americans each year and food producers are required to test their products for pathogens in a timely manner. Although conventional culture methods hypothetically allow the detection of a single cell of specific pathogens, they are extremely time-consuming, typically requiring at least 24 hours and complicated multi-steps to confirm the analysis. They also require laboratory setup and skilled personnel. The need of rapid detection of food pathogens and other important agents has posed a challenge for high throughput bioassays.