LightDeck Dx Announces Grant from U.S. Department of Agriculture to Develop Rapid Test For Toxic Chemicals in Water

The rapid, portable, quantitative test will help ensure safer water sources and better monitoring for toxic PFAS chemicals

BOULDER, Colo. – June 14, 2022 – LightDeck Diagnostics, the company leveraging planar waveguide technology to deliver lab-quality diagnostics in minutes, today announced it has been awarded a Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant funded by USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) to build a rapid, portable, quantitative test to detect many Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS) simultaneously.

PFAS chemicals cause a range of health problems: cancer, hormone disruption, liver and kidney toxicity, harm to the immune system, and reproductive and developmental toxicity, among others. However, PFAS chemicals are notoriously hard to detect due to their low molecular weight and the variety of different chemical structures.

“Our planar waveguide technology, which has already been configured to simultaneously detect two of the most common toxins generated by harmful algal blooms, is sufficiently sensitive to monitor PFAS chemicals,” said Nick Traggis, LightDeck CEO. “With this SBIR grant, we will further expand our water offerings and bolster the confidence of decision-makers when it comes to water safety and protection of our agriculture.”

LightDeck will develop the PFAS test for use with the existing LightDeck platform. It is expected to have a lower limit well below the actionable regulatory guidelines for these chemicals.

“This test will be used in agriculture, water utilities, and manufacturing industries to ensure the safety of the US water supply,” shared NIFA, in a summary of the grant’s objective.

The grant, which demonstrates USDA’s confidence in the LightDeck platform, follows a grant awarded to the company in January. The Henry M. Jackson Foundation awarded LightDeck $2 million to develop a rapid, quantitative, multiplexed inflammatory marker panel aimed toward helping healthcare providers predict the hospitalization risk of patients.

To learn more about LightDeck’s water testing solutions, please visit:

About LightDeck Diagnostics

LightDeck Diagnostics believes in a new approach to healthcare, where quick and accurate diagnostic tests will be run wherever and whenever they are needed. The company’s proprietary LightDeck® platform combines an advanced laser waveguide with novel materials and patented manufacturing techniques to deliver lab-quality results anywhere, in minutes. The LightDeck platform is achieving success in veterinary diagnostics and for environmental testing, and is developing a suite of human IVD panels. The company is based in Boulder, Colorado, and was recognized as Colorado BioScience Association’s Company of the Year, 2021.

Chris Wolfe,

LightDeck Diagnostics Named to Fast Company’s Annual List of the World’s 50 Most Innovative Companies for 2022

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