NASA SBIR 2003 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER:03-B5.03-8760 (For NASA Use Only - Chron: 034245)
SUBTOPIC TITLE:Nano/Quantum Devices for Space Medicine and Biology Applications
PROPOSAL TITLE:Novel Fabrication of Nano Device for Single DNA/Protein Detection

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Lynntech, Inc.
7607 Eastmark Drive, Suite 102
College Station ,TX 77840 - 4027
(979) 693 - 0017

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Dr. Sze-Shun   Wong
7607 Eastmark Drive, Suite 102
College Station ,TX  77840 -4027
(979) 693 - 0017
U.S. Citizen or Legal Resident: Yes

The health of the astronauts during space flight is critical to the success of NASA?s space program. Astronauts are exposed to tremendous environmental challenges, such as cosmic radiation, microgravity and confined space. Their immune systems are easily compromised. To study these effects, biomarkers such as nucleic acids and protein are measured to determine how the body reacts and adjusts to the stresses. Current detection methods rely on traditional molecular techniques that are time-consuming and require skillful operators. Also, the equipment needed is bulky and require high-power consumption. Therefore, many measurements are not conducted near real time but are completed after the samples are frozen and returned to earth. This leads to uncertainty on the reliability of the data. In order to overcome these problems, Lynntech proposes a novel method to fabrication a nano-electronic biochip that potentially can provide single DNA/protein detection in near real time. The proposed biochip will be more sensitive, smaller, more reliable, lower cost, and easier to operate for NASA?s mission than the most commonly used optical methods. The ultimate goal is to develop a small real-time nucleic acid and protein detection biochip capable of conducting measurements for long duration space missions.

In addition to monitoring astronauts? health, the electronic biochip can monitor the microbiology of the closed systems such as spacecraft and space stations. It can detect the sources and types of microorganisms in places such as crew compartments and in water handling systems. It can also be used in space agribusiness where genetic manipulation and mutation of plants by microgravity and radiation, respectively, can be determined through gene and protein expression.

This biochip can conduct DNA testing for homeland security without using PCR. It is field-portable and can be incorporated with sampling systems to test air, liquid, and solid samples. It will provide rapid and accurate testing for pathogens, such as SARS, anthrax and smallpox. In medical diagnostics, it provides early detection of illness-causing pathogens and tests for antibiotic-resistance bacteria. Other applications include environmental monitoring, agriculture, and food production. For protein detection, it will find wide application in the discovery of diagnostic biomarkers of diseases, monitoring of disease progression, drug screening, and study of drug metabolism and toxicity.