NASA SBIR 2010 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 10-1 O3.02-9569
PROPOSAL TITLE: Multi-Specimen Variable-G Facility for Life and Microgravity Sciences Research

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)
John C Vellinger
7200 Highway 150
Greenville, IN 47124 - 9515
(812) 923-9591 Extension :243

Estimated Technology Readiness Level (TRL) at beginning and end of contract:
Begin: 4
End: 6

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
Techshot, Inc. proposes to develop a Multi-specimen Variable-G Facility (MVF) for life and microgravity sciences research. The MVF incorporates a generic multi-specimen sample holder which can be accessed on-orbit, allowing data to be obtained in real-time. Candidate specimens accommodated by the MVF include various cells (e.g. for culturing), aquatics, plants, algae, and invertebrate organisms. More specifically, the generic multi-specimen container can be utilized as a prokaryotic and eukaryotic cell culture vessel. It can be used to contain aquatic organisms such as Zebra fish, Medaka, tadpoles, and even developing amphibian eggs. Seedlings, small adult plants (Arabadopsis), and even fern spores could be located within the specimen container. Other possibilities include Algae (Chara), fungi (S. cerevisiae), as well as invertebrate organisms such as C. elegans and Drosophila sp. in very large numbers. MVF's distinct advantage is its capability to provide synchronously controlled 1-G specimens in the same environment as the test specimens. More importantly, the innovative curved-wall sample holders within the MVF provide a constant gravitational force to the samples at all specimen locations. Since the MVF builds upon existing flight-proven technology, the long scientific hardware development cycle will be significantly reduced, translating into higher scientific throughput of ISS.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Techshot expects to commercialize the MVF by incorporating it into the company's spaceflight service program that it offers to NASA mission programs, as well as for other Government agencies such as investigators funded by the National Institute of Health Biomed-ISS program. The MVF provides a unique opportunity to increase the basic understanding of the effects of spaceflight on biological systems such as cells, plants, algae, and invertebrate organisms. With the synchronous control, the MVF provides the mechanism to develop critically needed countermeasures to mitigate the negative biological effects of spaceflight on astronauts' health. NASA can further utilize the MVF to test biological response of the spaceflight environment to help determine the regulation of gene expression in these biological systems. Most importantly, the MVF is a unique instrument capable of conducting highly-sought-after cell culturing and tissue growth experiments.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Building on its expected success with employing MVF to support NASA mission programs, Techshot expects to soon offer flight experiment services to non-NASA customers, including private sector and university researchers. Once commercial space vehicles (e.g. SpaceX, Orbital) begin routinely flying to the ISS, to commercial space stations (e.g. Bigelow), and as free fliers (e.g. DragonLab), the economics of transporting materials to and from space should become much more appealing. MVF is capable of supporting a wide variety of microgravity research for the private sector customer base. It also has the potential for scale up of processing high-value products in the unique environment of space, including large scale cell and tissue growth, and high-value medical-grade materials processing. In addition, several of the unique custom-designed components and subsystems in the MVF have the potential to be used in non-space applications, such as ground-based research laboratories, medical instruments, and industrial testing equipment.

TECHNOLOGY TAXONOMY MAPPING (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.)
Active Systems
Actuators & Motors
Algorithms/Control Software & Systems (see also Autonomous Systems)
Analytical Methods
Autonomous Control (see also Control & Monitoring)
Biological (see also Biological Health/Life Support)
Biophysical Utilization
Data Acquisition (see also Sensors)
Essential Life Resources (Oxygen, Water, Nutrients)
Health Monitoring & Sensing (see also Sensors)
Physiological/Psychological Countermeasures

Form Generated on 09-03-10 12:12