NASA STTR 2016 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 16-1 T8.03-9761
RESEARCH SUBTOPIC TITLE: Detection technologies for extant or extinct life for use on robotic missions
PROPOSAL TITLE: Penetrator-Compatible Microfluidic Analyzer For Lipids, Amino Acid Chirality, and pH

NAME: HJ Science & Technology, Inc. NAME: Georgia Institute of Technology
STREET: 820 Heinz Avenue STREET: 505 10th Street, Northwest
CITY: Berkeley CITY: Atlanta
STATE/ZIP: CA  94710 - 2753 STATE/ZIP: GA  30332 - 0420
PHONE: (408) 464-3873 PHONE: (404) 385-6697

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Dr. Amanda M Stockton
505 10th Street, NW
Atlanta, GA 30332 - 0420
(404) 894-4090

CORPORATE/BUSINESS OFFICIAL (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Dr. Hong Jiao
820 Heinz Avenue
Berkeley, CA 94710 - 2753
(408) 464-3873

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

Technology Available (TAV) Subtopics
Detection technologies for extant or extinct life for use on robotic missions 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)
HJ Science & Technology (HJS&T) and Georgia Institute of Technology (GIT) propose to develop a novel penetrator-compatible technology capable of detecting key organic molecules, biomarkers, and indicators of habitability on primary astrobiological targets including icy moons like Europa and Enceladus. The proposed innovation is a novel combination of microfluidic automated colorimetric and fluorometric assays and a miniaturized integrated system of hydraulic microvalve and optical detection module. By leveraging hardware of the Small Body / Icy Moons Planetary Organic Analyzer currently under development at GIT combined with unique microfluidic automation innovations at HJS&T, the proposed STTR effort will expand the current detection capability to include lipids, chiral analysis of amino acids and pH measurement. The entire instrument package is small and robust enough to be compatible with multiple mission concepts, including the stringent volume, mass, and robustness requirements of a high-velocity kinetic impactor platform. In Phase I, scientists at HJ&T will develop microfluidic automation procedures of detecting chiral amino acids, lipids, and pH measurement with the pneumatic microvalve device and bench-top optical systems. Scientists at GIT will develop the hydraulic microvalve devices and the monolithically integrated optical system. The microfluidic automation procedures developed at HJS&T will then be transferred to GIT and adapted to the hydraulic microvalve and monolithic optical system format including testing with real samples.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
The proposed system is designed to detect and quantify pre-biotic compounds (including amino acids and their polymers or polypeptides) and organic biomarkers including amino acid chirality and lipids that may be evidence of living processes. The innovation is designed to eventually be compatible with small spacecraft, rovers, or small penetrator platforms. As such, the proposed technology is naturally suited to such important NASA programs as in-situ planetary and small body surface chemistry studies.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
The proposed microfluidic automation platform is naturally suited for environmental monitoring of a wide range of water-based organic and inorganic analytes on Earth. The autonomous measurement capability of the proposed technology offers a compelling advantage for environmental monitoring. Currently many samples have to be physically acquired, transported, and then processed in the laboratory. Compared with conventional laboratory based methods, the in-situ measurement platform offers important advantages including reduction in time and cost, and real-time data for better and more timely decision making. As such, we have identified the in-situ detection and monitoring of water-based analytes as the primary market for the commercialization of the proposed technology.

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 Instruments (Solid, Liquid, Gas, Plasma, Energy; see also Sensors)
Biological (see also Biological Health/Life Support)
Biological Signature (i.e., Signs Of Life)
Chemical/Environmental (see also Biological Health/Life Support)

Form Generated on 04-26-16 15:16