Skip Navigation
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Dot gov

The .gov means it’s official.
Federal government websites often end in .gov or .mil. Before sharing sensitive information, make sure you’re on a federal government site.


The site is secure.
The https:// ensures that you are connecting to the official website and that any information you provide is encrypted and transmitted securely.

Internet Explorer is no longer a supported browser.

This website may not display properly with Internet Explorer. For the best experience, please use a more recent browser such as the latest versions of Google Chrome, Microsoft Edge, and/or Mozilla Firefox. Thank you.

Your Environment. Your Health.


Export to Word (
Principal Investigator: Miller-Lionberg, Daniel D
Institute Receiving Award Access Sensor Technologies, Llc
Location Fort Collins, CO
Grant Number R44ES024041
Funding Organization National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences
Award Funding Period 01 Jul 2014 to 30 Jun 2021
DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): Project Summary The goal of this project is to develop a new sampling and analysis system combining two new technologies. A lightweight ultrasonic sampler will be paired with an electrochemical paper-based analytical device (ePAD) for measurement of metals in airborne particulate matter (PM). Exposure to particulate matter (PM) air pollution ranks as the 5th leading risk factor for human morbidity and mortality worldwide – outpacing the health risks of all other environmental hazards combined. Although PM is a complex mixture of many potentially toxic compounds, the transition and heavy metal content present in PM is thought to play a significant role in toxicity. The disease burden posed by PM is supported by strong epidemiologic links between population exposure and many forms of ill health (e.g., cardiovascular disease, respiratory disease, neurological disorders, and cancer). Despite these scientific links, little is known about individual (i.e., personal) air pollution exposures because existing technologies for assessing personal PM exposure are expensive, burdensome, and complicated. Furthermore, PM sample analysis techniques (especially for transition and heavy metals) are prohibitively high ($100s/sample) and require the use of a centralized laboratory and specialized staff. Access Sensor Technologies has a vision to change this sampling and measurement paradigm by providing low-cost, high- performance tools for quantifying personal exposure to PM toxicants, with an emphasis on metals. The global market for air pollution monitoring exceeds $4B; we seek to leverage this market with a disruptive technology than can revolutionize the state-of-the-art in personal exposure monitoring. During Phase I, the basic analytic chemistry using electrochemical paper-based analytic devices (ePADs) and sample processing componentry for measuring metals were developed and demonstrated. During Phase II, we will develop a product line that includes a wearable (silent, lightweight, compact) air sampler, a streamlined module for chemical analysis, and the software/interface necessary for mobile-phone operation and communications; this ‘total analysis system’ will streamline the process of exposure and risk assessment while dramatically lowering cost. We will validate this system through laboratory and field studies against gold-standard methods. The outcome of this project will be products designed to penetrate research and consulting markets in industrial hygiene and environmental monitoring, with a long-term goal of offering a low-cost consumer product.For this Phase II project, we will 1) Integrate AST's proprietary air sampling technology with a streamlined analytic kit for in-field filter ex-traction and metals analysis 2) Develop an inexpensive and disposable sensor for rapid, simultaneous quantification of multiple met-als from a single air sampling filter and 3) Demonstrate product viability through field testing with early-stage commercial partners. If successful, we will also have product applications beyond particulate air pollution, as the sensor paradigm is amenable for water, soil, and food analyses as well. There is an urgent global need for simpler cheaper analysis of the world around us.
Science Code(s)/Area of Science(s) Primary: 72 - Predictive Toxicology/Assay Development
Publications See publications associated with this Grant.
Program Officer Daniel Shaughnessy
to Top