SBIR Phase I: Next generation optochemical sensors for detection of growing mold
Mold contamination in buildings presents significant health and economic problems.There were about $8 billion in mold-related damage claims made under property insurance polices in 2002 as well as a history of litigation for both property and health damages. Air sampling for microbial volatile organic compounds (mVOC?s) released by mold is recognized as a valuable method for early detection of mold growth; however, not only are the concentrations low but also it is difficult to access to the points of highest concentration . Therefore, to provide an effective solution for real time point of source location of mold contamination, CogniScent needs to develop innovative sensors for inclusion in its established in expensive and portable sensing platform.
CogniScent?s innovation is to develop optochemical sensors capable of detection of mVOC?s both as individual compounds and from mold growing on a range of building materials. The approach is to (i) develop a novel sensor design framework with integrated amplification strategies and functional design for specific interactions, capable of detecting ~10ppbv mVOC concentrations; (ii) incorporate reference sensors to enhance mVOC recognition over the range of environmental conditions; and (iii) assemble responsive sensors into an array for subsequent performance testing with contaminated building materials.