The Department of Defense has announced topics for Fiscal Year 2016 Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) funding in support of the Chemical and Biological Defense (CBD) Program.
The Joint Science and Technology Office for Chemical and Biological Defense (JSTO-CBD), Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) provides management for the S&T SBIR effort. Technologies developed under the program have the potential to transition to the Joint Program Executive Office for Chemical and Biological Defense (JPEO-CBD).
The overall objective of the CBD SBIR Program is to improve the transition or transfer of innovative Chem-Bio technologies to the end user – the warfighter – in addition to commercializing technologies within the private sector for mutual benefit.
The approved CBD SBRI Program FY16.1 focus areas include:
Dual-Purpose Biocidal and Chemical Warfare Agent/Reactive Textile Finish
Develop textile finishes for wearable military gear that can provide protection from chemical warfare agents; commonly encountered infectious pathogens such as Staphylococcus, Streptococcus, Pseudomonas, Aspergillus, influenza; and more exotic, highly contagious and deadly pathogens, such as Ebola and hantavirus, tularemia and pneumonic plague.
Dermal Medical Countermeasures for Chemical Weapons Exposure
The goal of this topic area is to develop low-cost, FDA-cleared toxic chemical neutralizing countermeasures for use on abraded skin or whole body. Current formulations of dermal medical countermeasures to chemical warfare agents (CWAs) are only approved by the FDA for small area applications on intact skin. This severely restricts usefulness since warfighters in some chemical weapons combat scenarios may be exposed over large regions of the body including areas with wounds or skin abrasions.
Lower-cost methods of skin decontamination, such as water washing, lead in some cases to more rapid onset of toxicity, attributed to a phenomenon known as the “wash in” effect, in which some hydrophobic/lipophilic compounds exhibit enhanced percutaneous penetration and partitioning into the lipid components of the skin in the presence of aqueous media.
New countermeasure formulations and strategies are needed which minimize injuries resulting from cutaneous exposure to CWAs up to 50% of the skin surface, including wounded regions and regions containing hair follicles.
Development of Chemical and Biological Aerosol and Liquid Repellent Coatings
Chemical and Biological (CB) agents could be in the form of contaminated aerosols such as ice crystals, air-borne liquid droplets and particulates. Therefore, an in-depth understanding of the interaction, attraction, and repellency between liquid and aerosol and materials with different surface topographies needs further investigation. The goal of this topic is to develop, assess, and optimize CB aerosol and liquid repellent coatings for use on materials including smooth and textured continuous surfaces (e.g., metal and glass surfaces), as well as fibrous surfaces of woven and non-woven textiles.
Medical Countermeasure Development for Viral Induced Encephalitis Using Single Domain Antibodies
Viruses such as those represented in the Alphavirus family, e.g. Eastern, Western, and Venezuelan equine encephalitis viruses, pose significant risk to the warfighter, are potential biological warfare agents, and are without any approved or licensed medical countermeasures. Alphavirus infections can lead to encephalitis, which often proves fatal.
The objective of this topic area is to identify single domain antibodies (sdAb) that demonstrate the capability to cross the blood brain barrier and neutralize encephalitic viruses. These sdAbs, or nanobodies, are part of a class of recombinant antibody fragments, including Fab, scFv, diabodies and microbodies and offer a new approach to generating antibody-based therapeutics, diagnostics, and tool reagents.
Smartphone Application for CBRN Mask Sizing and Projecting Quantitative Fit
Design and develop an innovative smartphone app for rapid identification of the appropriate size of a respiratory protective mask facepiece and to reliably prediction of the quantitative protective fit once the size has been determined. The smartphone could be used to take a sequence of 2-D photos of a prospective respirator wearer. A 3-D face and head reconstruction could then be performed. The app could be used to determine common facial anthropometric measurements as well as coronal arc and head and neck circumferences.
Contaminated Materiel and Remains Transfer Case
Develop a high strength/low weight chemically and biologically impermeable container capable of being opened to allow the insertion of the maximum sized contents of 85 x 24 x 18 and up to 335 lbs of chemical or biological hazardous materials. After loading contents, the container would never be re-opened. The container must also be puncture resistant and leak-proof. The container will allow the safe repatriation of chemically or biologically contaminated human remains, animal remains, protective equipment, or other material,
The CBD SBIR will begin accepting proposals on January 11, 2016. Further details are available via Solicitation Number: DOD-SBIR-16-1(541712) and at the DoD SBIR/STTR Small Business Portal. The proposal response deadline is February 17, 2016.