Laser-based In-situ Testing of Microbes with Ultraviolet Spectroscopy (LITMUS)
Award last edited on: 5/4/22

Sponsored Program
Awarding Agency
Total Award Amount
Award Phase
Solicitation Topic Code
Principal Investigator
Rohit Bhartia

Company Information

Photon Systems Inc

1512 Industrial Park Street
Covina, CA 91722
   (626) 967-6431
Location: Multiple
Congr. District: 32
County: Los Angeles

Phase I

Contract Number: 68HERC21C0010
Start Date: 3/1/21    Completed: 8/31/21
Phase I year
Phase I Amount
This proposal addresses the need for continuous microbial monitoring in water reuse treatment systems. The proposal will lead to a near-real-time, in-situ, reagentless sensor for potable and non-potable water systems. LITMUS (Laser-based Insitu Testing of Microbes with Ultraviolet Spectroscopy) uses deep UV laser excitation to directly detect microbes from the autofluorescence of protein-bound aromatic amino acids. LITMUS mitigates the challenges of current microbial detection methods being used by enabling an in-line/continuous flow, autonomous, no consumables method, with a detection range from >1x106 cells/ml, down to <10 microbial cells/ml. LITMUS will enable sampling and analysis of 1 ml of water every second and its design simplicity leads to low cost systems with minimal maintenance. The capabilities the LITMUS enables implementation of microbial monitoring at all scales of wastewater facilities, centralized and decentralized/on-site, that reusing water for non-potable and indirect/direct potable water. Under this Phase 1 effort, Photon Systems will demonstrate microbial detection, ifferentiability of microbes, and quantitation for use in a continuous flow microbial monitoring system with unprecedented temporal resolution for direct detection of microbes. The effort leverages TRL 9 components from our current NASA life-detection efforts as well as prior DOD, NSF, DTRA efforts and brings the deep UV spectroscopy technology to water quality assessment.

Phase II

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Start Date: 00/00/00    Completed: 00/00/00
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