Form 9.B Project Summary

Chron: 972053

Proposal Number: 28.02-9737A

Project Title: Fluorescence Instrumentation for Cell Biology Microgravity Research

Technical Abstract (Limit 200 words)

The Space Station Biological Research Program at NASA Ames is funding the development of a CellCulture Unit (CCU) to support microgravity research in cell biology onboard the Space Station. The CCU will provide basic and essential infrastructure for space-based cell biology research. However, its full utilization will require additional instrumentation with fluorescence capabilities for quantitative cell analysis. We propose a next-generation instrument, which could be used as an adjunct to the CCU to bring sophisticated applications of molecular biology and fluorescence spectroscopy to the study of cell biology onboard the Space Station. The instrument will initially be aimed at performing measurements of intracellular calcium signals in living cells although it has much broader applicability. The instrument will be rugged, compact, with low mass and low power consumption. This technology will bring into space powerful research tools that are now only available in ground-based laboratories and which require large, heavy, delicate, expensive and power-hungry instrumentation. Areas of fundamental interest in microgravity research such as signal transduction, cytoskeleton organization, and many other cellular processes would become amenable to study in space for the first time. No instrumentation exists with the capabilities of the proposed instrument.

Potential Commercial Applications (Limit 200 words)

A compact, rugged instrument capable of utilizing single-wavelength dyes to measure lifetime-based fluorescence of numerous cellular processes could be a very exciting addition to an already competitive market. The broad applicability of the proposed instrument would allow for a variety of cell systems to be monitored. A version of the instrument could also be reconfigured for application in the pharmaceutical industry as an advance for high throughput screening.

Name and Address of Principal Investigator (Name,

Organization Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip)

Salvador M. Fernandez

Ciencia, Inc.

111 Roberts Street, Suite K

East Hartford , CT 06108

Name and Address of Offeror (Firm Name, Mail Address,


Arturo O. Pilar

Ciencia, Inc.

111 Roberts Street, Suite K

East Hartford , CT 06108