This Small Business Innovation Research Phase I project possesses a unique chemical detection technology in which colorimetric changes in an array of dyes constitute a signal much like that generated by the mammalian olfaction system; each dye is a cross-responsive sensor. This technology has recently been expanded into the realm of the detection of aqueous analytes for use as an electronic tongue - dubbed TasteSeeing. Preliminary results indicate that near-instantaneous, vivid responses are obtained from small solution samples and that the majority of the array appears to be robust in water. This Phase I program is designed to evaluate the sensitivity, specificity and reproducibility of the technology as a methodology to characterize aqueous solutions.
This technique, while attractive to a wide range of markets, will initially be focused on the detection and identification of potential terrorist chemical agents. The goal is to integrate the TasteSeeing technology into a portable and inexpensive device to detect rapidly low levels of dissolved chemicals in water and other fluids.