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Fayetteville Small Business Receives EPA Research Contract

Release Date: 3/9/2005
Contact Information: For more information contact the Office of External Affairs at (214) 665-2200.

     Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced that Nanomaterials & Nanofabrication Laboratories (NN-Labs) of Fayetteville, Ark., received $70,000 from the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) contracts program.  NN-Labs was chosen from a pool of 363 applicants from across the country.

     "I applaud NN-Labs for its success in this highly competitive program and look forward to sharing its proven technologies with industries across the country.  The vitality and innovation of small business like NN-Labs continue to find better ways to fuel the nation's economy while protecting natural resources," EPA Regional Administrator Richard E. Greene said.

     The NN-Lab team will develop a new generation of sensitive, rapid, portable, robust and inexpensive biosensors to simultaneously detect multiple waterborne pathogens in water and the environment.  A reliable, sensitive, in-situ device for monitoring multiple, waterborne pathogens could be used by every drinking-water processing facility in the nation.  

     The company will develop new biomarkers using nanocrystals of various colors that capture and concentrate waterborne pathogens allowing measurement of photoluminescence emitted.  Using nanocrystals as biomarkers makes it possible to detect multiple waterborne pathogens down to one pathogen cell.

     The nanocrystal biosensor could also detect pathogens in food products and help industries meet the new USDA regulations for food safety.  Industries could benefit by preventing product recalls and international embargoes caused by microbially contaminated products.  This technology also has the potential to reduce diseases and medical costs.  It has the potential to detect biohazards in the environment.

     EPA's competitive SBIR program offers critical financial support to small businesses to develop the best innovative technologies.  EPA's SBIR program focuses on important areas related to environmental protection, including clean air and water, hazardous and solid wastes, pollution prevention, remediation, and monitoring.  Recent issues include homeland security, clean-up technologies, and technology solutions for specific environmental needs.  

     To learn more about EPA's SBIR program and research projects, please visit