Ithaca, N.Y. — February 8, 2011 - Rheonix, Inc. today announced the receipt of a Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase II grant in the amount of $500,000 from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to continue development of a Rheonix CARD® (Chemistry and Reagent Device) system to detect certain types of water contamination. NSF awarded the grant based upon the progress made during the NSF-funded Phase I and IB program to develop a rapid biosensor to monitor recreational water for the presence of fecal indicator bacteria (FIB). Testing for FIB is routinely performed at U.S. beaches to ensure that the water is not contaminated with potentially pathogenic bacteria.
Richard Montagna, Ph.D., Senior Vice President for Scientific Affairs of Rheonix and the project’s Principal Investigator stated that, “In order to ensure the safety of U.S. recreational waters, health authorities currently must rely upon time-consuming methods to detect the presence of FIB. These methods may take upwards of two to three days, during which time swimmers can be exposed to dangerous pathogens.”
Tony Eisenhut, President of Rheonix commented, “The Rheonix system not only achieves accurate results within a few hours, but also permits the distinction of viable from nonviable organisms. Because of its capabilities, we believe that the Rheonix CARD® system will permit the U.S. EPA to fulfill a court order to reduce the time required to evaluate the safety of recreational water to sameday results. We are also actively seeking strategic partnerships to market this innovative new technology platform in recreational water quality markets.”
The Company will use the additional funding to complete the development of the fully automated Rheonix CARD® system for recreational water testing. The same underlying system has applications in a broad spectrum of markets including human and veterinary in vitro diagnostics, biopharmaceutical manufacturing, food and beverage manufacturing, food/water safety testing and homeland security/defense applications.