This FOA is seeking applications for a portable sensing device to detect volatile organic compounds (VOCs, i.e. scents or odors) emanating from skin and to develop a catalog of VOCs as distinct signatures for at least 20 human diseases and conditions. These sensing devices must be able to associate VOC patterns using artificial intelligence to patients with various conditions for diagnostic purposes along with capabilities to incorporate and integrate vital signs.
Limited Submissions Internal Call for Proposals: NIH SCENT (U01 Clinical Trial Optional)
Number of Applications per Institution: Only one nominee per institution is allowed.
UNC Internal Deadline: 11:59PM, Wednesday, March 24, 2021
NIH LOI Deadline: May 10, 2021
NIH Full Proposal Deadline: June 10, 2021
Funding Instrument: Cooperative Agreement
Award Budget: Application budgets are limited to $650,000 direct cost per year for Years 1 and 2, and $800,000 direct cost per year for Years 3 – 5.
Award Project Period: The scope of the proposed project should determine the project period. The maximum project period is 5 years.
Program Description: This FOA is seeking applications for a portable sensing device to detect volatile organic compounds (VOCs, i.e. scents or odors) emanating from skin and to develop a catalog of VOCs as distinct signatures for at least 20 human diseases and conditions. These sensing devices must be able to associate VOC patterns using artificial intelligence to patients with various conditions for diagnostic purposes along with capabilities to incorporate and integrate vital signs. For VOC monitoring, these sensing devices can be Electronic-nose (E-nose) technology, Gas Chromatography (GC) or any sensing technology able to detect VOC patterns associated with disease. This new program is called SCENT, which stands for Screening for Conditions by E-Nose Technology.
To ensure project success, this FOA requires multidisciplinary collaborations and a team science approach. Groups may include a combination of the following: Biomedical engineers, material scientists, biosensing experts, software engineers, chemists, clinicians, clinical trialists, biostatisticians, data analysts and/or other relevant experts in academia and industry.
The purpose of the SCENT FOA is to enable the development of a disease-agnostic platform for the diagnosis and monitoring of a wide range of disease conditions thereby catalyzing the use of the technology for the clinic and beyond. Detection of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) emanating from skin should be the primary focus in the conceptualization and application of this SCENT platform to differentiate and quantify disease-specific VOC signatures. SCENT should employ an array of chemical gas sensors, a sample handling system and a pattern recognition system. Pattern recognition using artificial intelligence and machine learning integrated into the VOC detection should provide a higher degree of selectivity and specificity into the system and are expected to enable the diagnosis, prediction, and monitoring of at least, twenty (20) human diseases and conditions by the end of the five (5) year project. The breakdown of required disease conditions is described in Specific Research Objectives below. The incorporation of vital sign measurements such as temperature, pulse rate, respiration rate, blood pressure etc. is an additional requirement as these can expand and discriminate the data learning sets along with VOC pattern recognition for sensitive and specific disease diagnoses and monitoring.
To Apply: Submit the following (in ONE .pdf) to Limited_Submission@unc.edu by 11:59PM, Wednesday, March 24, 2021.
- PI/Proposed team member’s NIH formatted biosketch (five-page maximum)
- Project Summary (no more than 4 pages)
- List of potential/committed collaborators (internal and external to UNC)
- Names of three internal (to UNC) experts who could speak knowledgeably about the candidate’s research and who could potentially serve on an internal review panel.
- Please do not include the names of faculty named on the project, chairs, deans, directors, direct reports, or others who have a conflict of interest.
- Please notify all potential internal reviewers before submitting the pre-proposal packet to ORD.
FOA PAR-21-009: https://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/rfa-files/RFA-TR-21-009.html
Please contact the Limited Submissions Team with questions at Limited_Submission@unc.edu