VIC Foundry Awarded Phase I SBIR Grant from the National Institutes of Health


NIH Grant is to Develop a Portable Sample Preparation Device for Concentration and Recovery of Bacterial Contaminants

Fayetteville, AR -The VIC Foundry (VF), in collaboration with the University of Hawaii (UH), has been awarded a Phase I SBIR grant for $259,553 from NIH for the development of a portable instrument capable of extracting and concentrating microbial pathogens or contaminants from a large volume of sample solution. The cornerstone is a patent-pending electroflotation technology. It is an affordable, versatile, reusable, and battery-operated automated device with no moving parts, suitable for on-site or in-field sample preparation.

The proposed technology would significantly improve sample preparation techniques required for distributed environmental or food testing, thereby helping protect the public's health. With early detection and routine surveillance being of paramount importance for effective management of water or foodborne infectious diseases, the proposed microbial concentration and recovery technology would expand the widespread and meaningful use of rapid, portable detection platforms.

“We are pleased to receive the NIH award for this project which is expected to lead to improved portable devices for detecting pathogens in food and water and thereby have a huge impact on both human and livestock health,” said Dr. Xiaoli Su, VP R&D of VIC Foundry.

The electroflotation technology has a potential substantial impact and commercial promise because it can overcome the bottleneck in rapid environmental or food safety testing. The FDA Food Safety and Modernization Act now requires food producers to ensure that all water used for irrigation meets the EPA Recreational Water Quality Criteria. CDC estimates that about 7.15 million cases of waterborne infectious diseases occur each year in the United States, with 601,000 ED visits, 118,000 hospitalizations, 6,630 deaths, and $3.33 billion in direct healthcare costs.

About VIC Foundry:

VIC Foundry is one element of the VIC innovation ecosystem that includes VIC Tech, the VIC Investor Network, and various associated programs such as the VIC Fellows. VIC Foundry develops technologies that have substantial potential impact and commercial promise but need additional development before private equity funding. Funding for the development is typically from accessing various grant funding opportunities. Upon successfully completing the given grant-funded project, a new company is formed, VIC places an initial executive team, and the VIC Investor Network makes a founding investment into the newly formed company. To learn more, visit