NASA SBIR 2003 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER:03-B4.01-7364 (For NASA Use Only - Chron: 035643)
SUBTOPIC TITLE:Space Commercialization
PROPOSAL TITLE:Accelerated Wound Healing Device Using Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs) Biostimulation to Support Long Term Human Exploration of Space

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Quantum Devices Inc
112 Orbison St P.O. Box 100
Barneveld ,WI 53507 - 0000
(608) 924 - 3000

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Ronald W Ignatius
112 Orbison St P.O. Box 100
Barneveld ,WI  53507 -0000
(608) 924 - 3000
U.S. Citizen or Legal Resident: Yes

As NASA gradually finalizes the strategic plans for long-term exploration of outer space including earth low orbit and other planetary system, significant health and safety risks to the astronauts also arises. One of the risks is the physical wounding, burning, and inflammation during in-space/in-flight construction, fabrication, assembly, and testing of the infrastructures designed for the exploration, including the International Space Station. Such circumstance will severely undermine the implementation of NASA-defined plans and greatly overrun specified budget and time frame, if physical damage is not effectively controlled.

Several cases of minor cuts in microgravity have been reported not being able to heal until return to Earth. While the exact cause for the slow healing in space environment is still been theorized, initial studies on cells exposed to micro- and hyper-gravity have suggested that the growth of human cells is heavily regulated by the gravity. As the gravitational force increases or decreases, the cell function responds in a linear fashion. Typically, the faster the cell growth, the quicker the healing process. Thus, development of technologies that can accelerate the wound healing is crucial to NASAys space exploration mission.

The objective of this work is to develop an in-situ/in-flight wound healing device using wavelength-specific light-emitting-diodes (LEDs) biostimulation to accelerate the healing process. Pioneering work conducted by Medical College of Wisconsin shows that biostimulation is able to increase DNA synthesis in fibroblasts and muscles cells, which could contribute to fibroblast proliferation and healing process.

The commercial potential for NASA and the other government sectors will be unlimited. As new space transportation hardware comes on line NASA will need an emergency medical suit or a section that will include an LAPC LED source on each transportation vehicle. In addition each space station or docking platform will require emergency medical facilities. Planetary exploration will require deployment of a base camp at the initial landing site equipped with a complete medical care facility including a LAPC LED source. Surface exploration will require vehicles with emergency medical facilities equipped with emergency versions of LAPC LED source.

The initial thrust of this research is to develop a device using LED biostimulation for in-situ treatment of wound, injury, and inflammation encountered during space exploration, which will enhance crew safety and health for long term exploration of space. There is no doubt that this type biostimulatory enhancement, once demonstrated for space, can be immediately applied to military applications and will have profound economic implications for the health care industry here on earth. With the development of a low cost LED source, this technology will no doubt find its way into rural area medical facilities thereby making the technology readily available to everyone. The world wide commercial implications for this device technology are enormous.