A $1 million challenge, on behalf of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, to enhance testing for lead in children.

Five Phase 2 teams are participating in a virtual accelerator and developing their concepts for advanced point-of-care blood lead tests.
Lead Detect Prize

Phase 1 winners


Fluorezyme’s dual amplification strategy would use DNA and light to detect lead in whole blood with a device that would fit in a user’s hand.

GlucoSentient and UT Austin

The concept from GlucoSentient and UT Austin would adapt a blood glucose meter platform and use a DNAzyme sensor to detect lead in a blood sample.

Meridian Bioscience

Meridian Bioscience’s device would apply electrochemical sensors to detect lead by measuring the electrical current in a blood sample.

OndaVia, Inc

OndaVia’s solution would apply optical technology to detect the presence of lead using a distinctive fingerprint signature.


SensiLead’s plug-and-play sensor would apply electrochemistry to detect lead and include a mobile app that would allow users to test and track results.

About the challenge

The Lead Detect Prize seeks to accelerate the development of next-generation point-of-care blood lead testing technology. The challenge, on behalf of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, will advance blood lead test solutions by providing funding and expertise while fostering collaboration and partnership. Phase 1 awarded five winners an equal share of a $150,000 prize pool. Phase 1 winners were also exclusively invited to enter Phase 2 and join a virtual accelerator. Up to three Phase 2 winners will receive a share of a $850,000 prize pool.


In Phase 1 eligible entrants were invited to submit concept papers and development plans.

Challenge launch

November 14, 2023

Phase 1 submission deadline

January 22, 2024

Phase 1 evaluation

January 23-February 23, 2024

Phase 1 winner announcement and Phase 2 start

March 14, 2024
We are here

Phase 2 submission period ends

August 8, 2024

Phase 2 winner announcement

October 2024


$1 million

The Lead Detect Prize will award up to $1 million. Phase 1 awarded $150,000, and Phase 2 will award up to $850,000.

Challenge resources

Access resources to learn more about the current issues in blood lead exposure testing and how to take a novel test from concept through regulatory approval and commercialization.

Sign up to receive the Lead Detect Prize newsletter