Max-IR Labs Announces Phase I NIH STTR Award for New Sensor to Help Assure Safe Drinking Water

Max-IR Labs, an infrared sensor technology company based in Dallas, Texas, announced it has been awarded a Phase I Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) award of $260,000 by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to develop a sensor for monitoring of toxic per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in drinking water, to help achieve access to safe and affordable drinking water for all Americans. PFAS pollutants have received particular attention in the past decade due to their persistent and bio-accumulative nature and high toxicity. The proposed sensor is based on infrared (IR) spectroscopy, employing Max-IR's patented ISMIRâ„¢ water-quality sensor technology.

Exposure to PFAS can lead to adverse health outcomes, in particular, higher kidney cancer incidence and mortality with high PFAS exposure, according to the National Cancer Institute. Other adverse health effects include low infant birth weight, suppression of the human body's immune response to vaccines, harm to the cardiovascular system, and interference with the development of fetuses and children. To mitigate human exposure, the U.S. EPA released a Drinking Water Health Advisory for perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) and perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), the two most commonly detected PFAS. On June 15 of this year, the EPA tightened its lifetime health advisory levels for two PFAS contaminants that are globally widespread in drinking water. The award will help develop a reliable, cost-effective, low-maintenance capability for continuous monitoring of PFAS levels in drinking water sources, including municipal drinking water treatment plants, food and beverage processing facilities, and in reservoirs and other environmental water sources. Use of the sensor will aid in efforts to identify and reduce/eliminate sources of PFAS in potable water supplies. As a platform technology, Max-IR plans is also employing its core ISMIRâ„¢ technology for improved energy efficiency in wastewater treatment plants, and is exploring new applications in biosensing, such as for total coliform and E. coli in water, and in bioreactors for a range of industries.

Research funding reported in this press release is supported by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) of the National Institutes of Health under award number 1R41ES03358101A1. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health.

Source: Max-IR Labs


Categories: Environmental and Waste Management

Tags: infrared, PFAS, sensor

About Max-IR Labs

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Max-IR Labs develops infrared sensors for chemical analysis of fluids. We focus on development of scalable IR sensor technologies for industries that require specific chemical monitoring capabilities for R&D, production, and environmental controls.