NASA SBIR 02-1 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER:02- B4.02-8107 (For NASA Use Only - Chron: 023892 )
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Space Commercialization
PROPOSAL TITLE: A Long-Duration Commercial Microgravity Mouse Habitat: Waste/Odor Technologies

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
975 Waite Dr.
Boulder , CO   80303 - 2731
(303 ) 492 - 2341

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
James Clawson
975 Waite Dr.
Boulder , CO   80303 - 2731
(303 ) 499 - 2460

The Bioastronautical Systems Development Company (BSDC) proposes to develop habitat technologies for conducting long-term commercial research with mice in microgravity. Our research addresses solicitation section B4.02 Space Commercialization for the design/development of microgravity payloads for space station applications that lead to commercial products or services. In partnership with BioServe Space Technologies, we ultimately seek to offer an efficient, long-duration, EXPRESS-rackcompatible microgravity mouse habitat that will address BioServe?s growing demands from commercial affiliates expressing an interest in conducting research with mice aboard the International Space Station. Our focus on mice stems from the facts that pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies perform most pre-clinical examinations (80%) with mice, transgenic laboratory animals are nearly exclusively available in mice, and mice require fewer ISS resources (crew time, mass, volume, etc.) than rats. However, odors from mouse urine are considerably more odiferous than the urine from rats, the traditional animal used in microgravity biology studies. Therefore, this research addresses odor control and sanitation technologies for mouse waste, specifically the examination of various adsorption materials (e.g. carbon, zeolite, and bedding), separating humidity and odor control, and efficacy of a catalytic scrubber.

The primary commercial application of this hardware is to enable the marketing of microgravity research and development to biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies. For example, our subcontractor, BioServe has a strong track record of promoting spaceflight pre-clinical research on the Space Shuttle with three flight investigations sponsored by Chiron Corp. (STS-60, 63 and 77) and a recently completed spaceflight investigation sponsored by Amgen Inc. (STS-108). Amgen has expressed a strong interest in flying mice on the Space Station. They are particularly interested in flying skeletally aged mice for 4-6 weeks to explore long-duration spaceflight as a model for Type II (senile) osteoporosis (as described in Part 5: Related R/R&D). If the described combination of age related bone loss in C57BL/6J mice and spaceflight were to become a validating step before proceeding to human clinical trials for senile osteoporosis, it would be worth millions of dollars to the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industry.

Identifying effective waste and odor technologies that can operate within the constraints of a spaceflight payload could allow the use of the Animal Enclosure Module (AEM) for extended durations aboard ISS. Increasing the duration capabilities of the AEM would allow a broader range of investigations from both the commercial and science communities. It would also relieve the current cost and schedule pressure in developing the next generation animal habitat. This work will also assist the commercial programs in supporting their customers to conducting leading edge research on near term flight opportunities.

Form Printed on 09-05-02 10:10