NASA SBIR 2002 Solicitation

FORM B - SBIR PROPOSAL SUMMARY


PROPOSAL NUMBER:02-II B3.01-8478 (For NASA Use Only - Chron: 023521 )
PHASE-I CONTRACT NUMBER: NAS8-03018
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Advanced Spacecraft Life Support
PROPOSAL TITLE: Advanced Monitoring System for Space Flight Applications

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN: (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/ZIP, Phone)
Luna Innovations Incorporated
2851 Commerce Street
Blacksburg , VA   24060 - 6657
(540 ) 552 - 5128

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER: (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/ZIP, Phone)
Roger VanTassell
vantassellm@lunainnovations.com
2851 Commerce Street
Blacksburg , VA   24060 - 6657
(540 ) 961 - 4502

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (LIMIT 200 WORDS)
Microbial growth in storage water has been a problem for NASA since the onset of space flight. During the Phase I program, Luna developed a novel affinity microcantilever-based biosensor that was capable of directly monitoring water supplies for bacterial contamination during space flights. The biosensor is based upon the principle that as organisms bind to an affinity coated microcantilever beam, the chemomechanical forces induce a deflection in proportion to concentration of bound target. Using gold-based coupling methods, anti-E coli antibodies were attached to the microcantilever beams and tested with varying concentrations of E. coli. Luna?s patented EFPI technology was then used to monitor the cantilever deflection with subnanometer sensitivity. Binding of E. coli was successfully demonstrated at concentrations of 105 CFU/ml which induced significant signal responses. During the Phase II, sensitivity will be increased using the new USB FiberPro II system and through optimization of affinity coatings and signal enhancement reagents. The affinity microcantilever will be adapted for multiplexing using micromachined arrays and integrated with microfluidics for stable reagent handling. The affinity microcantilevers will not only be useful for space-based applications, but will be adaptable for use in water quality and environmental monitoring, food safety, process monitoring, and medical diagnostics.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATION(S) (LIMIT 150 WORDS)
The proposed Phase II work will result in the development of a novel, compact, low-power rapid biosensor platform with which microbial contamination of stored water supplies may be monitored on the Space Station and during prolonged space flights. The sensor suite also will be able to screen for surface contamination and monitor water recycling efficiencies. Through support electronics and spectral sharing, Luna will exploit the fiber optic sensors to provide a sensor suite capable of measuring a broad range of biochemical and physical parameters.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA APPLICATION(S) (LIMIT 150 WORDS)
The key advantages of the affinity microcantilever sensor include; i) field-use operation with no critical alignment issues, ii) cost-effective multiplexing techniques already developed for communications applications, iii) real-time, absolute, spectrally encoded information that, unlike fluorescent systems is not affected by non-specific background interference and detection without labeling. Consequently, the affinity microcantilever sensor platform also will allow Luna to produce a wide range of products with immediate near-term and long-term market impact for applications in, i) water quality and environ-mental monitoring, ii) food safety, iii) process monitoring, and iv) medical diagnostics.


Form Printed on 10-03-03 11:34