NASA SBIR 2010 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 10-2 X12.02-9668
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Quantifying Bone Degradation with High Resolution Ultrasound
PROPOSAL TITLE: Wideband Single Crystal Transducer for Bone Characterization

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
TRS Ceramics, Inc.
2820 East College Avenue
State College, PA 16801 - 7548
(814) 238-7485

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Kevin Snook
2820 East College Avenue
State College, PA 16801 - 7548
(814) 238-7485 Extension :234

Estimated Technology Readiness Level (TRL) at beginning and end of contract:
Begin: 3
End: 4

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
TRS proposes to develop a simple-to-use, launch capable, ultrasound transducer that is capable of producing the necessary bandwidth to accurately determine in vivo bone characteristics that correlate to loss of strength in astronauts in long-duration space flights (microgravity). The transducer will be capable of measuring backscatter, attenuation, reflectivity and other ultrasound parameters of bone in the spine or hip that have been correlated with physiological bone density, structure and porosity through systems that provide high fidelity but are not space-capable. The Phase I program showed that a compact ultrasound transducer with more than 4 octave bandwidth could be produced using the special properties of single crystal piezoelectrics and special processing techniques, a bandwidth 175% larger than that of conventional transducers. The Phase II program will extend the capabilities of the Phase I transducer by providing more sensitivity, and optimizing the frequency content relative to the acoustic field. Additionally, TRS will team with Stony Brook University to further analyze the relationship between the bone structure and ultrasound parameters towards eventual use in space. TRS will deliver a robust, wideband transducer that can be integrated with NASA components at the end of the program.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
With the potential as a low-cost system, the ultrasound method could be implemented as a series of units for astronauts both in space and before or after returning. The applications of the material and methods can also be integrated into other areas, such as evaluation of materials (non-destructive evaluation) while on the job. The cryogenic performance advantages of single crystal have been shown in adaptive optics applications, showing that this could be a very adaptable technology.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
There is potential for the ultrasound system to be used as a low-cost diagnostic tool in the medical setting, particularly in areas where the larger, more costly imaging tools such as CT and MRI are not available. The additional information from this method could also surpass these modalities. This includes other pathologies such as skin cancer. The concept of the transducer could be expanded to other frequency ranges, and could be used in industrial or defense applications. Acoustic spectroscopy is used to evaluate fatigue as structure crack over time and acoustic signatures across the structure change. A wider frequency range could provide more fatigue data.

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.)
Biological (see also Biological Health/Life Support)
Health Monitoring & Sensing (see also Sensors)

Form Generated on 12-15-11 17:36