Superfund Research Program
Quantum Dot Sensors for Superfund Priority Substances
Project Leader: Robert D. Bolskar
Grant Number: R43ES022541
Funding Period: Phase I: December 2012 – November 2014
The principal goal of this project is to obtain proof-of-concept for a new nanotechnology-based sensor material for rapid and sensitive fluorescence detection of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs). Simple, inexpensive and safe methods to detect and quantify these toxic substances, which rank high in the ATSDR Substance Priority List and contaminate many US Superfund priority sites, are highly sought after. Emission-based methods using sensitive and specific fluorescent probes offer improved means to do this. TDA Research, Inc. plans to create new chemosensors useful for detecting and quantifying PAHs and PCBs, including on-site rapid qualitative assays of soil and water of contaminated sites, and as analytical probes for the spectrofluorometric quantitization of these high-ranking toxins.
In Phase I of this project, TDA Research, Inc. is conducting a proof-of-concept study to synthesize new sensor probes and validate their emission properties when challenged with PAH and PCB analytes. The new sensor materials will be useful as rapid and sensitive probes in analytical tests and assays for monitoring the hazardous substances at contaminated Superfund sites.