NASA SBIR 2015 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 15-1 H14.01-9877
SUBTOPIC TITLE: International Space Station (ISS) Utilization
PROPOSAL TITLE: Snap Freezer for ISS

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)
Dr. Eugene Boland
7200 Highway 150
Greenville, IN 47124 - 9515
(812) 923-9591 Extension :241

CORPORATE/BUSINESS OFFICIAL (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Mr. Mark Deuser
7200 Highway 150
Greenville, IN 47124 - 9515
(812) 923-9591 Extension :247

Estimated Technology Readiness Level (TRL) at beginning and end of contract:
Begin: 3
End: 5

Technology Available (TAV) Subtopics
International Space Station (ISS) Utilization is a Technology Available (TAV) subtopic that includes NASA Intellectual Property (IP). Do you plan to use the NASA IP under the award?

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
Frozen tissue samples represent the state of the art in tissue preservation in many molecular analysis techniques as well as in in membrane analysis using free-fracture techniques. Rapid or snap freezing eliminates the artifact caused by ice crystal formation within the tissues. Ice crystal nucleation and growth occurs between 0 degrees C and -20 degrees C typically. To avoid this damage and minimize destruction of proteins, RNA and DNA by lytic enzymes, cells or tissues have to be rapidly cooled through this temperature band. This is typically done in an isopentane bath cooled by liquid nitrogen (LN2) to -150 degrees C. This 2 step process eliminates artifacts caused by ice nucleation as well as artifacts caused by nitrogen bubbles that surround the tissue as it boils if submerged directly into LN2. While these open methods are acceptable for terrestrial laboratories, they would not be compatible with experimentation on the International Space Station. Our proposed argon based Snap Freezer clamp would provide an alternative means to rapid cool through ice crystal nucleation and growth temperatures without exposing the crew to the spill hazards of LN2 and chilled isopentane as well as the extreme flammability of isopentane.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Techshot has a more than 25-year-history of developing and integrating spaceflight hardware, and it serves as an official Implementation Partner to NASA and CASIS. The company's success with microgravity facilities such as the Avian Development Facility, the Advanced Space Experiment Processor and the Bone Densitometer position it as a leader in offering these unique services. When coupled with the innovative capabilities of other research devices aboard the ISS, the Snap Freezer will give NASA an even greater ability to serve the investigator community it supports. Furthermore, with the ability of commercial launch vehicles to get more experiment samples into orbit, the economics of transporting and processing materials in microgravity should become far more compelling. Eventually, given sufficient economical commercial launch vehicle transporting capacity, when coupled with Techshot's cadre of space processing equipment, the Snap Freezer could become an important tool for processing larger quantities of high-value materials for NASA customers aboard ISS.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Our product is expected to be of particular interest to the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries, academic researchers and terrestrial national laboratories, and Techshot is committed to investing in its commercialization. Beginning with this Phase I award, the company will build a technology demonstrator with internal funds. While typical laboratories snap freeze tissues by plunging specimens into liquid nitrogen or an isopentane bath chilled by liquid nitrogen, this may not be compatible with all experimental protocols or facility safety standards, which will provide commercial opportunities. Much like the safety concerns on the ISS, significant burn hazards exist from liquid nitrogen spills and isopentane is an extremely flammable liquid. When these conditions exist in terrestrial labs, researchers use cold blocks to freeze samples. But even actively-cooled plates in cryostats do not typically reach temperatures sufficient for effective snap freezing. This may not freeze sensitive or thick tissues at a fast enough rate to preserve the most sensitive DNA, RNA, proteins and crystal structures.

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.)
Analytical Methods
Biological (see also Biological Health/Life Support)
Cryogenic/Fluid Systems
Heat Exchange

Form Generated on 04-23-15 15:37