Sporian Microsystems, a developer of sensors and sensor systems, has received a Phase III award to continue development and testing of biosensor and wireless network technologies to detect pathogens in source waters. The effort leverages Sporian's expertise in areas including molecular biology, optics, wireless communications, low power design and ruggedized electro-mechanical packaging.

There is a need among soldiers in austere environments for remote, near-real time detection and location of waterborne biological pathogens in potential drinking water sources. Since surface water is the primary water source for our deployed soldiers, there is a critical need to determine the extent of potability, especially in undeveloped countries, and to provide continuous monitoring of water quality.

Last year, the Sporian system was tested in Warren, MI as part of the AQUA PATH (Autonomous Querying Threat Agent Sensor for Potable Water Handling) program in cooperation with the US Army Engineer Research and Development Center (ERDC) in Alexandria, VA. In this field test, Sporian's sensors monitored for broad E. coli, E. coli O157, and salmonella.

In the new Phase III development effort, Sporian will add new wireless communication and geolocation capabilities, integrate 3rd party water sensors, and improve the performance of its biosensor. Field testing of the upgraded system is planned for later this summer.

The biosensor is based on Sporian's patented BioOverseer® sensor architecture which provides specific and sensitive pathogen detection in a rugged, portable package. The sensor has a modular architecture, so that it can utilize other assays to detect additional pathogens. Beyond the DoD, Sporian recognizes opportunities in environmental monitoring, water quality, agriculture, health care and homeland security applications. Sporian is working with water utilities and water testing OEMs to commercialize the sensor.

ABOUT SPORIAN: Sporian Microsystems, Inc. Sporian develops, markets, manufactures and sells a family of novel sensors, multiple sensor-suites, sensor-subsystems and sensor data-loggers. These systems communicate via wireless and wired interconnects, and they deliver several key features including small size, weight and power (SWAP) consumption and low cost. The company owns deep technical, marketing and managerial talent and a strong, differentiated intellectual property and patent base. Sporian is pursuing a product development roadmap that includes four interrelated product lines:

Environmental sensors including such parameters as temperature, vibration, humidity, shock, and chemical species present in the environment,

Biological and chemical sensors for environmental contaminant and serum pathogen detection,

Sensors, coatings and packaging for harsh, high temperature and pressure environments,

Systems to integrate sensors with signal processing, data logging, wired and wireless communications, and interface software.

ABOUT ERDC: The mission of the Engineer Research and Development Center (ERDC) is to provide science, technology, and expertise in engineering and environmental sciences in support of our Armed Forces and the Nation to make the world safer and better. The U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center is one of the most diverse engineering and scientific research organizations in the world. ERDC conducts R&D in support of the Soldier, military installations, and the Corps of Engineers civil works mission, as well as for other federal agencies, state and municipal authorities, and with U.S. industry through innovative work agreements. See for more information.