NASA SBIR 2008 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 08-1 X14.02-9395
SUBTOPIC TITLE: On Orbit Cell Counting and Analysis Capability
PROPOSAL TITLE: Microfluidic Multichannel Flow Cytometer

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Techshot, Inc.
7200 Highway 150
Greenville, IN 47124 - 9515
(812) 923-9591

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Paul W. Todd, Ph. D.
7200 Highway 150
Greenville, IN 47124 - 9515
(812) 923-9591

Expected Technology Readiness Level (TRL) upon completion of contract: 4

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
The proposed innovation is a "Microfluidic Multichannel Flow Cytometer." Several novel concepts are integrated to produce the final design, which is compatible with on-orbit operation from the standpoint of gravity-independence, low mass, low power requirement and automated operation. The unique design features of the Microfluidic Multichannel Flow Cytometer include compact optics based on diode technology for both illumination and measurement, tested channel branching schemes, no sheath fluid anywhere, bubble-free PDMS lithographic manufacture, and analysis based on quantum-dot technology. A design is proposed that counts RBC, WBC and three specified WBC subsets. Techshot, Inc. and scientists at Purdue University will collaborate to test the components of this innovation by pursuing the following Phase I objectives: (1) create a critical design requirements document for the Microfluidic Multichannel Flow Cytometer, (2) breadboard and test its three critical physical components (illumination, sensing optics and flow channels) and (3) critically test feasibility of each component and produce a top-level drawing suitable for initiating Phase II R/R&D to produce an integrated prototype. The final product will be robust for use in space flight and low-cost on Earth for eventual point-of-care blood analysis and global AIDS patient status monitoring.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Since the early 1980's a flow cytometer has been a planned component of the International Space Station's (ISS) on-orbit analytical capability one of nearly 100 instruments originally specified to make ISS the equivalent of a terrestrial laboratory in which experiments could be performed repeatedly without resorting to Earth to complete analytical steps and to provide data for experiment redesign. The proposed innovation will provide this longed-for on-orbit analytical capability for cell researchers. Real-time blood analysis on ISS crew members is also a longed-for goal. On deep space missions re-usable compact robust medical laboratory equipment will be critical. For example, the health status of crew members exposed to a solar proton storm will need to be critically determined using peripheral blood counts. Therefore, infusion into NASA mission needs and projects constitutes providing this technology for (1) cell and immunology researchers aboard the ISS and ISS National Lab, (2) medical monitoring of ISS crew members via the Human Research Facility (HRF), and (3) medical monitoring of deep-space exploration crews, especially following a solar proton storm.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Three major non-NASA commercial markets exist: (1) laboratories that do not have access to conventional flow cytometry facilities, (2) point-of-care blood cell monitoring and (3) monitoring of CD4 cell status in global AIDS populations. With its low cost and potential for automated manufacturing the proposed Microfluidic Multichannel Flow Cytometer, in a specialized version could be used for the monitoring of CD4+ T-lymphocyte counts in AIDS patient care in third-world countries, where such a low-cost diagnostic capability is desperately needed. There is an international movement to reduce the cost of CD4 measuring instruments to $5000 or less and reduce the cost of a single test for CD4 to 50 cents or less by building instruments that do not require large power or computer sources, are robust, very easy to use, and yet of very high quality. The adoption of this cytometer for this application alone would open the technology for this and other point-of-care applications affecting millions of individuals.

NASA's technology taxonomy has been developed by the SBIR-STTR program to disseminate awareness of proposed and awarded R/R&D in the agency. It is a listing of over 100 technologies, sorted into broad categories, of interest to NASA.

Biomedical and Life Support
Biomolecular Sensors
Biophysical Utilization

Form Generated on 11-24-08 11:56