Madison, WI, United States

Platypus Technologies, LLC

www.platypustech.com
Madison, WI, United States

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Patent
Platypus Technologies, LLC | Date: 2017-02-21

Provided herein is technology relating to detecting gaseous analytes and particularly, but not exclusively, to devices and methods related to detecting gaseous analytes by monitoring changes in liquid crystals upon exposure to the gaseous analytes.


The present invention relates to the field of detection of components in gas phase, and in particular to detection of nitric oxide exhaled as a component of breath, using a liquid crystal assay format and a device utilizing liquid crystals as part of a reporting system.


Patent
Platypus Technologies, LLC | Date: 2014-03-12

Provided herein is technology relating to detecting gaseous analytes and particularly, but not exclusively, to devices and methods related to detecting gaseous analytes by monitoring changes in liquid crystals upon exposure to the gaseous analytes.


Patent
Platypus Technologies, LLC | Date: 2015-07-28

The present invention relates to the field of molecular diagnostics, and in particular to diagnostics based on a liquid crystal assay format. In particular, the present invention provided improved substrates and methods of using liquid crystal assays for quantitating the amount of an analyte in a sample. The present invention also provides materials and methods for detecting non-specific binding of an analyte to a substrate by using a liquid crystal assay format.


Patent
Platypus Technologies, LLC | Date: 2015-03-19

The present invention relates to the field of detection of viruses, and in particular to detection of viruses using a liquid crystal assay format. In the present invention, virus binding in a detection region is identified by changes in liquid crystal orientation caused by virus binding independent orientation caused by any topography associated with the detection region.


Grant
Agency: Department of Health and Human Services | Branch: National Institutes of Health | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 150.63K | Year: 2016

SUMMARY Aromatic volatile organic compounds aVOCs such as benzene toluene ethylbenzene and xylenes BTEX depress the central nervous system upon short term exposure and upon long term exposure can lead to reproductive system damage and dermatitis Benzene present in gasoline and crude oil and one of the twenty most common chemical manufacturing materials in the US is carcinogenic As the American Petroleum Institute stated in the only absolutely safe concentration of benzene is zero aVOCs are difficult to detect and measure due to their lack of reactivity This makes corrective actions and exposure awareness difficult To address the increased concern over ambient levels of aVOCs this proposal seeks to develop and validate a new sensing mechanism for aVOCs based on liquid crystals LCs The proposed LC sensor technology will enable development of low cost sensors for widespread personal exposure monitoring and warning Such sensors are timely as the NIEHS strategic plan for includes a major focus on enhancing our ability to quantify individual exposures and responses to environmental toxins The commercially available options of infrared photoionization and metal oxide detectors are cost prohibitive for personal and environmental monitoring as increased sensitivity and accuracy are needed the cost rises limiting the number of sites and personnel that can be monitored and devices also become too large to be worn There is thus an unmet need for more compact more affordable accurate sensitive devices to measure aVOCs in real time across a range of concentrations that are relevant to both personal and environmental monitoring Whereas Platypus Technologies has previously developed LC sensors for reactive gases this proposal seeks to establish proof of concept for a fundamentally new approach applicable to non reactive aVOCs The advances in technology required to meet this new challenge are substantial and include development of a new sensor design elastically strained LCs and surface chemistry fluorphenyl surfaces The risks inherent in this project justify support via the Phase I SBIR mechanism The two main technical aims of this Phase I SBIR project focus on ways to enhance and tune sensitivity first capitalizing on the recently discovered phenomenon of using elastically strained LCs for sensitive target detection and second through development of a novel surface chemical interaction that is uniquely applicable to sensing of aVOCs using LCs The outcome is anticipated to be proof of principle that these approaches can form the basis of compact robust inexpensive accurate sensors suitable for detecting a broad range of aVOC vapor concentrations in the workplace and environment Narrative Aromatic volatile organic compounds aVOCs especially benzene are carcinogenic and impact respiratory and reproductive health leading regulatory agencies to impose exposure limits for workers in industries where aVOC exposure is a risk and for the broader environment Available devices for detecting aVOCs in the workplace are expensive and only the most expensive devices are capable of monitoring the very low levels of benzene in the environment in real time This Phase I proposal aims to test the feasibility of fabricating simple low cost sensors based on the company s liquid crystal sensing platform that incorporate novel physico chemical approaches designed to enable real time monitoring of VOCs over a broad dynamic range from a few parts per billion to hundreds of parts per million


Grant
Agency: Department of Health and Human Services | Branch: National Institutes of Health | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 145.76K | Year: 2016

DESCRIPTION provided by applicant The air we breathe can contain dozens of toxins The National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences NIEHS strategic plan for includes a major focus on andquot enhancing our ability to quantify individual exposures and responses to environmental toxins andquot Similarly the US Environmental Protection Agency EPA is increasing its emphasis on community monitoring so that citizens may better understand their exposures to toxins However equipping large numbers of individuals and or geographic sites with available monitoring equipment capable of accurately measuring low levels of toxins would be prohibitively expensive Therefore affordable devices capable of measuring personal exposures to toxic gases are urgently needed Moreover available andquot simpleandquot toxic gas monitors have presented difficulties of operation and interpretation when deployed by lay personnel for community monitoring initiatives Therefore personal exposure monitors must also be easy to use and interpret if personal monitoring is to be widely adopted One air pollutant that is challenging to measure affordably at low levels with specificity and accuracy is formaldehyde HCHO This carcinogen is emitted from building materials among other sources and can pollute homes and workplaces where the materials are installed or manufactured Providing simple affordable means of monitoring HCHO exposure would provide citizens with better actionable information epidemiologists with better data with which to assess health risks and regulators with information needed to develop effective defensible policies Platypus Technologies has developed an approach to monitoring HCHO exposure that combines the companyandapos s proprietary liquid crystal LC sensing platform with a novel sensing mechanism The platform is amenable to zero power readouts and the sensors are inherently small and light weight facilitating comfortable deployment on people Platypus has commercialized the ClearSense tm hydrogen sulfide dosimeter based on LC technology for the industrial hygiene market and now proposes to leverage this expertise for the more challenging task of HCHO detection The LC sensing platform is uniquely amenable to a novel surface chemistry strategy for detecting HCHO that is designed to improve specificity over currently available sensors The strategy involves fabricating a chemically reactive surface on which LCs align parallel to it On exposure to HCHO the LCs realign perpendicular to the surface This realignment causes sensors to change from bright to dark when viewed through crossed polarizers The long term goal is a chemical dosimeter product for HCHO suitable for personal exposure monitoring To minimize fabrication costs and improve performance for long term monitoring we propose to modify sensor design from the Clear Sense product concept by i supplanting the use of gold on glass sensor surfaces with saline on glass to save costs and extend sensor stability ii reducing sensor surface area further reducing costs and iii replacing the LCs traditionally used for sensors with LCs that have greater resilience to changes in temperature and moisture an option not previously possible that is afforded by the novel detection chemistry PUBLIC HEALTH RELEVANCE The National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences NIEHS strategic plan for includes a major focus on andquot enhancing our ability to quantify individual exposures and responses to environmental toxins andquot Equipping large numbers of individuals with reliable toxics monitoring equipment would provide valuable exposure data for individuals for epidemiologists and for regulators but is currently prohibitively expensive and for many overly complicated We propose to determine the feasibility of a novel strategy for fabricating low cost light weight dosimeters for personal monitoring of exposure to the carcinogen formaldehyde so that broad communities regulators and epidemiologists may better understand community and individual health risks


Grant
Agency: Department of Health and Human Services | Branch: | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 144.34K | Year: 2014

Project Summary The goal of this SBIR project is to design and develop an efficient, automation- compatible Directed Cell Migration (DCM) 96-well Assay that distinguishes chemokinetic from chemotactic behavior. Cell migration is currently assayed using trans-membrane well inserts, microfluidic systems and various versions of scratch assays. These methods are expensive and provide inconsistent data. Due to its importance in cancer and associated metastatic processes, cell migration is intensively studied and in vitro cell migration assays are routinely used in drug discovery programs aimed at identifying new cancer therapeutics. An important characteristic of cancer cells is their ability to detect chemoattractant gradients and migrate in response to them. Amajor barrier to efficient screening of candidate cancer therapeutics affecting directed cell migration is the lack of affordable cell based assays that are robust, physiologically relevant, reproducible and cost-effective to perform. Platypus Technologi


Grant
Agency: Department of Health and Human Services | Branch: | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 147.45K | Year: 2014

DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): The goal of this SBIR project is to design and develop an efficient, physiologically relevant and cost-effective 96-well 3-D Cell Migration Assay that is compatible with mid-high throughput/high content assay platforms.Due to its importance in cancer and associated metastatic processes, cell migration is intensively studied and in vitro cell migration assays are routinely used in drug discovery programs aimed at identifying new cancer therapeutics. Cell migration studies of cells grown in 3-D biomimetic matrices are currently performed primarily using trans-membrane well inserts and microfluidic systems. These methods are expensive, laborious and provide inconsistent data. Moreover, these assays compromise on an important characteristic of the in vivo environment: the unique spatial arrangement of cells that facilitates their ability to exhibit normal physiological phenotypes and functions. A major barrier to efficient screening of candidate cancer therapeutics affe


Grant
Agency: Department of Defense | Branch: Army | Program: STTR | Phase: Phase II | Award Amount: 999.98K | Year: 2014

In Phase I we successfully reached all goals and milestones in developing liquid crystal sensors that detected 100 ppb of each of four target gases (DMMP, hydrogen sulfide, nitrogen dioxide and ammonia) within 60 seconds. In Phase II, we propose to expand this detection capability to a total of seven gases, adding volatile organic compounds, chlorine and half-mustard to the set. We then propose to develop three types of sensors for three gases (threshold, semi-quantitative and quantitative), develop a subsystem for integration of threshold sensors into unmanned vehicles, and test one of the sensors on the ARA Pointman robot. Our first target product for Phase II is a threshold sensor for hydrogen sulfide suitable for integration with unmanned ground vehicles.

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