NASA SBIR 2007 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 07-1 X12.01-9625
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Health Preservation in the Space Environment
PROPOSAL TITLE: Handheld FRET-Aptamer Sensor for Bone Markers

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Operational Technologies Corporation
4100 N.W. Loop 410
San Antonio, TX 78229 - 4253
(210) 731-0000

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
John G Bruno
4100 N.W. Loop 410, Suite 230
San Antonio, TX 78229 - 4253
(210) 731-0015

Expected Technology Readiness Level (TRL) upon completion of contract: 3 to 4

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
Astronauts lose approximately 1-1.5% of their bone mass per month during space travel due to a lack of physical stress in the microgravity environment. Although, no effective treatments or prophylactic regimens have yet been defined, it is important to monitor the bone loss process in space. As such, the sensor must be compact and facile to operate. Therefore, OpTech proposes to extend its already successful and patent-pending competitive fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET)-aptamer assay technology to the detection of bone loss and formation markers such as osteocalcin fragments, hydroxylysine, hydroxyproline, C-terminal and N-terminal telopeptides. In Phase I, OpTech will develop, clone and sequence aptamers to each of these markers. OpTech will also incorporate fluorophore-labeled dUTP into the sequenced aptamers by asymmetric PCR and complex them to their quencher-labeled bone markers for testing in buffer, animal sera, and urine. Finally, in Phase I OpTech will dry and reconstitute the assays that will be tested using a commercially available handheld, battery-operated fluorometer and validated using OpTech's spectrofluorometer. In Phase II, the FRET-aptamer assays will be optimized and packaged in special leak-proof sealed plastic cuvettes and delivered to NASA along with the handheld fluorometer for testing on the ISS or other space missions.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
NASA would use this technology as a portable means for astronauts to self-monitor their bone loss with one-touch ease from urine or serum samples. Monitoring of other non-bone-related analytes by NASA would also be possible, if appropriate FRET-assays were developed.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Women and the elderly could use this system as a rapid and facile point-of-care diagnostic system to monitor osteoporosis and the efficacy of therapeutic regimens. The system might also be used to monitor bone repair following severe fractures or skeletal procedures related to plastic or reconstructive surgeries. In a broader sense, OpTech is developing FRET-aptamers for a wide array of analytes on Earth including foodborne and other pathogens and clinical analytes.

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.

Biomedical and Life Support
Biomolecular Sensors
Biophysical Utilization

Form Generated on 09-18-07 17:50