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Research and Programs

CAST has a vigorous research and development program. Details on all our key research programs are below.

This research program involves the expansion of pulsed electrochemical detection technology for airborne environmental contaminants and pathogens.

This program involves the development of a glucuronide sensor to monitor for drugs, explosives, chemical and biological contaminants in physiological samples, especially urine.

We are developing a simple senor device that detects the early stages of foot-rot or other fungal infections.

We are developing and optimizing a device for the rapid screening of energetics (e.g., TNT, NG, RDX), their byproducts and propellants in environmental samples, especially groundwater.

The introduction of non-native species and organisms into the environment by ballast water release is a serious problem, and until recently it has been given a low national priority.

The overall purpose of this project is to develop a prototype packaging sensor designed to indicate the amount of spoilage in packaged seafood (to be referred to as the Freshdicator) based on amine (e.g., scrombotoxin, or histamine, which causes scromboid poisoning) concentration.

This project involves the development of a novel spectroscopic technique and fiber optic probe system for the real-time (i.e., millisecond), sub-surface differentiation of healthy and malignant tissues based on optical absorption by endogenous chromophores.

This research program involves the development of proprietary multi-layer SERS substrate capable of providing trace detection and identification of chemicals (e.g., chemical warfare agents, environmental pollutants, etc.) for periods of months or more without any degradation in signal enhancement.

This research program involves the development of a proprietary surface enhanced Raman scattering-based sensing array for the rapid (less than five minutes) qualitative and quantitative detection of as many as fifty different pathogenic species from complex environments.

This research program involves the development of a remote sensing platform for the detection of airborne or contained chemical or biological agents based on the photothermal lensing phenomenon.

This research program involves the development a proprietary fiber optic chemical imaging probe capable of obtaining surface enhanced Raman images of microscopic to macroscopic samples with sub-200 nm spatial resolution and sub-second temporal resolution.

This research program involves the development of nanoscale intracellular sensors that employ surface enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS) to allow for the real-time monitoring of the expression and modification of as many as 50 different proteins within individual living cells.

Sensor platforms using high-power pulsed lasers and hybrid detection strategies are used to remotely detect harmful vapors from stand-off distances.

Polymer coatings can be used to reversibly monitor changes in surface temperature in real time, via a ratiometric fluorescent response.

By using non-invasive sensors for monitoring and controlling oxygen and pH, virtually any transparent vessel can be converted into an intrumented bioreactor at low cost.

CAST has a vigorous research and development program. Details on all our key research programs are below.

Understanding the mechanisms underlying cell response to cues from their biomaterial microenvironment will ultimately lead to improved methods to control cell behavior in tissue replacement therapies.

We are developing a set of methods and devices that are based on surface plasmon-coupled fluorescence are being developed.

We are developing a steam sterilizable alcohol sensor.

We are developing a rugged platform for wireless sensor nodes that measure common environmental parameters.

This research is focused on the development of immobilization methods and studying the influence of immobilization on the sensor behavior.

We have developed a low-cost, relatively simple analytic apparatus for measuring various analytes of a sample that does not require recalibration and constant upgrades in parts
and equipment.

This project is in collaboration with the UM Greenbaum Cancer Center and Guided Therapeutics, Inc. (formerly Spectrx, Inc.) of Atlanta, GA. CAST staff will synthesize molecularly imprinted polymers specific for apoptosis (cell-death) markers.

This project is in collaboration with the US Department of Agriculture. The objective is to develop a low-cost device to detect enterotoxins in food.

A one-use, disposable device for use by soldiers in the field is being developed to measure glucose, glutamine and lactate (USAMRMC-funded).

These soluble proteins are being converted into optical sensors by mutagenesis and chemical labeling with fluorescent probes.