NASA STTR 2004 Solicitation


RESEARCH SUBTOPIC TITLE:Understanding and Utilizing Gravitational Effects on Molecular Biology and for Medical Applications
PROPOSAL TITLE:Polarization Imaging Apparatus for Cell and Tissue Imaging and Diagnostics

NAME: Boston Applied Technologies, Inc. NAME:The Catholic University of America
ADDRESS:6F Gill Street ADDRESS:620 Michigan Ave., NE,
CITY:Woburn CITY:Washington
STATE/ZIP:MA  01801-1721 STATE/ZIP:DC  20061-0001
PHONE: (781) 935-2800 PHONE: (202) 319-5244

Yingyin K. Zou

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT ( Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
This work proposes to capitalize on our Phase I success in a novel visible-near infrared Stokes polarization imaging technology based on high performance fast tunable phase retarder and novel algorithms for analyzing and diagnosing biological phantoms and cells. Phase I results have demonstrated the feasibility of this technique in in-vivo analyzing biological phantoms and cells. In this Phase II proposal, Boston Applied Technologies Incorporated, will team up with the Catholic University of America and Georgetown University to further develop this technique and apply it to biological cell analysis. Prototypes Stokes imaging system with real time video will be designed and developed. Computer-aided diagnosis software will be further developed for the imaging system with improved classification accuracy and speed. The Stokes polarization imaging system and its computer-aided diagnosis software will be tested on fresh tissue samples from laboratory animals. The tissues will include normal tissues from multiple organs as well as cancerous tissue from laboratory animals. The Stokes images will be compared to reflectance confocal microscopy images and standard light microscopy images to reveal the polarization fingerprints of biological tissues/cells.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS ( Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
The proposed high performance Stokes polarization imaging system would find tremendous applications in NASA missions. The development effort of this program will result in a light weight space applicable instrument which may well suited for NASA’s molecular biological and medical studies under the microgravity environment. Potential application of this technology will allow microscopic imaging and biophysical measurements of cell functions, effects of electric or magnetic fields, photoactivation, and testing of drugs or biocompatible polymers on live tissues. The proposed portable device can also be a powerful and convenient tool for non-biological studies during the NASA mission.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS ( Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Stokes polarization imaging of tissue specimens presents opportunities in improving the cost efficiency of medical care. The potential for this device in commercial clinical practice is also enormous, from early detection of diseased cells, to microscopic tissue analysis. Especially, its high imaging speed can meet the requirement of imaging/extracting fingerprint of live cells/tissues in vivo in life science; meet the requirement of fast image acquisition/identification for moving targets in astronomy and national defense. It also can be used as an analysis tool for material research and industrial processing. Therefore, this technology carries a tremendous commercial potential for the development of next generation polarization imaging instruments. The success of this project will have great impacts not only to many current NASA sponsored R&D and commercial programs, but also to the imaging industry at large.

Form Printed on 01-27-06 14:58