Detection of Explosive Materials Using an Encapsulated Fluorescent Bioprobe
Agency / Branch:
DOD / ARMY
The use of explosives over the last 100 years has left up to 16,000 military ranges contaminated with highly toxic compounds. A major challenge to the remediation of these ranges is identifying the location of persistent explosive residues. To meet this challenge, Agave BioSystems in collaboration with Universities Space Research Agency (USRA) proposes to develop an encapsulated fluorescent bioprobe for detection of explosive materials. Encapsulation of the bioprobe will rely on porous silica nanoparticles, which will provide a matrix for the probe and enhance its environmental stability by allowing chemical agents of interest to enter while leaving the bioprobe impervious to other compounds and pH fluctuations. Detection will rely on a displacement immunoassay that results in fluorescence in the presence of explosives. Dye-labeled anti-TNT antibody fragments will provide fluorescence, and antibody fragments will be attached within porous silica nanoparticles. In the absence of TNT, the TNT quencher analogue will bind to the dye-labeled antibody fragments, preventing fluorescence. When TNT is present, the TNT quencher analogue will be displaced, removing the fluorescence quenching effect. The Phase I effort will focus on encapsulating the bioprobe and detecting 2,4,6-trinitrotoluene (TNT).
Small Business Information at Submission:
Research Institution Information:
AGAVE BIOSYSTEMS, INC.
P.O. Box 80010 Austin, TX 78708
Number of Employees:
UNIVERSITIES SPACE RESEARCH ASSOC.
USRA c/o The NCSER
Cleveland, OH 44135
Randy Vander Wal
Nonprofit college or university