skip to main content

Title: 2013 R&D 100 Award: DNATrax could revolutionize air quality detection and tracking

A team of LLNL scientists and engineers has developed a safe and versatile material, known as DNA Tagged Reagents for Aerosol Experiments (DNATrax), that can be used to reliably and rapidly diagnose airflow patterns and problems in both indoor and outdoor venues. Until DNATrax particles were developed, no rapid or safe way existed to validate air transport models with realistic particles in the range of 1-10 microns. Successful DNATrax testing was conducted at the Pentagon in November 2012 in conjunction with the Pentagon Force Protection Agency. This study enhanced the team's understanding of indoor ventilation environments created by heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems. DNATrax are particles comprised of sugar and synthetic DNA that serve as a bar code for the particle. The potential for creating unique bar-coded particles is virtually unlimited, thus allowing for simultaneous and repeated releases, which dramatically reduces the costs associated with conducting tests for contaminants. Among the applications for the new material are indoor air quality detection, for homes, offices, ships and airplanes; urban particulate tracking, for subway stations, train stations, and convention centers; environmental release tracking; and oil and gas uses, including fracking, to better track fluid flow.
Authors:
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
1143634
Resource Type:
Other
Research Org:
LLNL (Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL), Livermore, CA (United States))
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
54 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES HOMELAND SECURITY; PENTAGON; AIR QUALITY; DETECTION; AEROSOL; DNA; DNATRAX; AIR PARTICLES