NASA SBIR 2008 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 08-2 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
7200 Highway 150
Greenville, IN 47124 - 9515
(812) 923-9591

Expected Technology Readiness Level (TRL) upon completion of contract: 6

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
Techshot, Inc. proposes continued research and development of an on-orbit cell counter culminating in a deliverable hand-held blood cell counter in the form of a "Microfluidic Multichannel Flow Cytometer". Crew health monitoring, the Human Research Program and research in Fundamental Biology will all benefit from the availability of on-orbit cell counters that can provide immediate and repeated blood counts to assess potential anemia, neutropenia, neutrophila or possibility of infections, and signs of immune cell dysfunction. Three sequential objectives will be completed: (1) Subsystems consisting of a disposable microfluidics chip with multiple channels, fluorescence and light-scatter optics for cell detection, cell labeling protocols and reagents, electronics for controls and data processing and digital analysis and display hardware and software will be constructed and tested on the basis of Phase I research results. (2) Subsystems will be integrated into a benchtop flow cytometer for counting red and white blood cells and three subsets of white blood cells. (3) A compact hand-held cytometer device will be delivered to the sponsor. This handheld device can be operated by any on-board personnel and requires only a single drop of blood with fully automated processing of blood on-chip.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Sample preservation, especially blood cell samples, on ISS has been a long-standing problem, and a cytometer that can process fresh samples on orbit will solve many problems, especially in space immunology, where knowledge is critical to future space exploration. The immune system of crew members, compromised by weeks of low gravity, renders them more susceptible to acute radiation effects of a solar proton storm. Post-irradiation blood cell counts of irradiated humans has always been vital to their appropriate medical care. Thus a (very compact) blood cytometer will also be critical to future deep space exploration missions. Therefore, infusion into NASA mission needs and projects constitutes providing this technology for (1) cell and immunology research aboard the ISS and ISS National Lab, (2) medical monitoring of ISS crew members via the Human Research Program (HRP), 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)
With its low cost and potential for automated manufacturing the proposed Microfluidic Multichannel Flow Cytometer, in specialized versions can be used for the monitoring of CD4+ T-lymphocyte counts in AIDS patient care in underserved populations, blood cell counting in neonates using a drop of heel-prick blood (National Institute of Child Health and Human Development), in-field blood tests of military personnel, and of research and testing laboratories that cannot afford, or do not have access to, a cytometry facility. A major advantage is that it processes a single drop of whole blood automatically inside the chip allowing it to be used in low-resource settings. The potential market for such a device is large. Many of these customers are identifiable personally by the investigators, and the product can be advertised in cell biology journals and scientific instrument catalogues.

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
Biophysical Utilization

Form Generated on 08-03-09 13:26