NASA SBIR 2017 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 171 S4.05-9760
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Contamination Control and Planetary Protection
PROPOSAL TITLE: Antimicrobial Coating for Metallic Surfaces

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Physical Sciences, Inc.
20 New England Business Center
Andover, MA 01810 - 1077
(978) 689-0003

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Dr. Dorin V. Preda
20 New England Business Center
Andover, MA 01810 - 1077
(978) 689-0003 Extension :8243

CORPORATE/BUSINESS OFFICIAL (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Dr. B. David Green
20 New England Business Center
Andover, MA 01810 - 1077
(978) 689-0003 Extension :8146

Estimated Technology Readiness Level (TRL) at beginning and end of contract:
Begin: 2
End: 4

Technology Available (TAV) Subtopics
Contamination Control and Planetary Protection 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)
NASA needs innovative technologies to protect biological sensors and to prevent contamination of extraterrestrial bodies such as Europa, Enceladus or Mars. Physical Sciences Inc. (PSI) will develop novel broad spectrum antimicrobial (ABFV: anti-bacterial/fungal/viral) coatings for the exposed surfaces of spacecraft metals, plastic, and electronics that will act as a bio-barrier to prevent both forward and backward contamination. The technology will offer a complementary and milder approach to the current, energy intensive sterilization methods such as heat processing, gamma/electron beam irradiation, cold plasma and vapor hydrogen peroxide. In addition, these current technologies only provide a one-time sterilization. The PSI approach is a permanent coating that will prevent inadvertent contamination throughout the spacecraft assembly and integration.

The Phase I work will build upon PSI's previous efforts that developed highly efficacious and broad spectrum antimicrobial (ABFV: anti-bacterial/fungal/viral) finishes for textile surfaces. During the Phase I work, PSI will synthesize ABFV compounds that permanently attach to the surface of metallic materials such as aluminum and stainless steel. PSI will demonstrate high efficacy and broad spectrum antimicrobial activity of the treated metallic surfaces as well as compatibility with current sterilization processes. In a potential Phase II, PSI will further demonstrate the technology at a scale relevant to spacecraft applications. In addition, PSI will extend the use of the new antimicrobial technology to other spacecraft hardware materials such polymers, electronics and composites and demonstrate the ABFV treatment on representative pieces of spacecraft hardware.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
NASA is planning a wide range of extra-terrestrial missions, often with the goal of detecting signs of life. NASA has the responsibility not to introduce bacteria or viruses from earth into pristine extraterrestrial bodies. In order to prevent contamination of both the sensors and the extraterrestrial bodies, all aspects of the spacecraft must be sterile.

Existing systems can clean a spacecraft at any given moment in time, they cannot keep the spacecraft clean. Implementing these procedures for large and complex spacecraft will be time-consuming, and facilities-intensive, greatly adding to the overall mission cost.

In addition to the NASA interplanetary market, there is also the NASA manned spaceflight market. Manned platforms require high internal humidity which leads to rampant bacterial and fungal growth on all surfaces and particularly on hidden surfaces that are hard to reach. Cleaning these surfaces is a reoccurring task that occupies much of the crew time. Failure to clean the surfaces leads to significant respiratory problems.

A coating process that ensured that an entire spacecraft is sterile and more importantly remains sterile, would greatly reduce the overall mission cost and increase mission success for both unmanned and manned missions. The versatile process proposed by PSI would pay for itself many times over by reducing the cost of the spacecraft processing facilities, the integration times, and the need for frequent decontamination.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
It can be said without hyperbole that the terrestrial market for a broad spectrum antimicrobial (anti-bacterial/fungal/viral) coating is simply enormous. The proposed technology is a permanently attached surface coating that kills bacteria, fungi and viruses on contact. There are applications in the medical, pharmaceutical, military, and first responder industries.
In the medical community, the proposed technology could greatly reduce the incidence of operating theater contamination and the associated costs of treating post-operative infections. At low enough cost, various other aspects of hospital environments could be treated, again reducing infection rates and improving patient outcomes.

Similarly, in the pharmaceutical processing industry, great expense is taken to prevent biological contamination during the drug manufacturing process. The proposed Phase I will demonstrate efficacy on aluminum, anodized aluminum, and stainless steel. These are also the basic material building blocks of virtually all drug-manufacturing equipment. Reducing the decontamination steps and product rejection rates will greatly increase the cost-effectiveness of many drug fabrication systems.

Military applications range from defeating bio warfare agents to self-decontaminating medic gear. Equipment that decontaminated itself would help reduce the spread of a bioweapon and help military and civilian first responders deal with such threats.

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.)
Coatings/Surface Treatments

Form Generated on 04-19-17 12:59