Case Study – U.S. Genomics

Air Sampling Device for Bio-Weapons Sensing


A genomics-based company was pursuing a multi-million dollar research grant being offered through the Homeland Security Advanced Research Projects Agency (HSARPA) to develop a sophisticated biological sensor for bio-defense applications. The client’s technical staff was strong in nanofluidics, optical engineering, and novel labeling strategies to support its core technology of unamplified analysis of molecules such as DNA, RNA, and proteins.

However, the proposal to HSARPA required a front-end particulate sampling, collection and pre-processing system. The design and specification of such as system was beyond the capability the client’s core competencies or available resources. Failure to quickly provide a strong plan for achieving success in the design of this front-end system would have jeopardized the likelihood of receiving the grant.


IMPACT’s experienced knowledge of particulate technology, separation technology, and process/product design gave the client a reputable “plug-and-play” process development team with the necessary experience. The team reviewed the grant proposal and developed a plan for accomplishing the required goals of the front-end system. This plan, along with the credentials of the IMPACT team, was submitted with the grant proposal to HSARPA.


With IMPACT’s support, the client received the research grant bringing in significant funding to the company.  Although the aerosol sampling field was found to be quite active with new technologies, the best process solution was found to be a novel impactor sampling design proposed and implemented by IMPACT engineers. The design successfully passed all HSARPA test requirements and lead to a second development grant of $16M from the agency, one of only three contractors to be awarded this level of funding.