NASA SBIR 2014 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 14-1 H10.02-9568
SUBTOPIC TITLE: International Space Station (ISS) Utilization
PROPOSAL TITLE: Suspended Cell Culture ANalysis (SCAN) Tool to Enhance ISS On-Orbit Capabilities

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Aurora Flight Sciences Corporation
4 Cambridge Center, 11th Floor
Cambridge, MA 02142 - 1494
(617) 500-4889

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Jessica Duda
4 Cambridge Center, 11th Floor
Cambridge, MA 02142 - 1494
(617) 500-4889

CORPORATE/BUSINESS OFFICIAL (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Scott Hart
4 Cambridge Center, 11th Floor
Cambridge, MA 02142 - 1494
(617) 500-4892

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

Technology Available (TAV) Subtopics
International Space Station (ISS) Utilization 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)
Aurora Flight Sciences and partner, Draper Laboratory, propose to develop an on-orbit immuno-based label-free Suspension Cell Culture ANalysis tool, SCAN tool, which utilizes antibody-antigen surface binding as its core sensor technology. Our proposed SCAN tool is designed to provide an on-orbit analysis of suspension samples to support studies of bone and muscle loss, multi-generational species studies and cell and plant tissue per NASA SBIR topic description H.10.02.

The SCAN tool technology would function as follows: A disposable cartridge specific to a targeted biomarker is inserted into the SCAN tool. The user introduces a cell suspension sample into the cartridge. Cells presenting target antigens bind specifically to corresponding antibodies fixed within the cartridge flow path. The number of bound cells is detected optically by the SCAN tool and is reported to the user on a display screen within several minutes. The cartridge is removed, disposed and replaced after each measurement.

We propose to heavily leverage our experience gained from the On-Orbit Immuno-Based Label-Free White Blood Cell Counting System with MEMS Technology (OILWBCS-MEMS) Phase I and Phase II SBIR contracts (completed August 2012) for this effort. The OILWBCS-MEMS benchtop evaluation setup will be used as a test platform, and the hand held SCAN tool design will use OILWBCS-MEMS as a point of departure. The major difference between the two is the surface chemistry required to target the biomarkers of interest. By building upon a successful project, we continue to make use of NASA's considerable prior investment. Our prior effort also enables us to quickly mature this technology to high TRL (proposed TRL 6-7) by the end of Phase II.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
In general, any existing immuno-based cell biomarker detection desired for on-orbit research and development could be accomplished with the SCAN tool. The SCAN tool offers the ability to quantify differences between samples in the concentrations of cells presenting specific biomarkers. For example, it could be used to detect concentrations of differentiated adult stem cells over time using cell biomarkers (on cells cultured on beads or in suspension). It could also be used detect cell viability during on-orbit drug transfection and toxicity testing. In addition it may be possible to use the SCAN tool for enrichment purposes by capturing and releasing cells with specific biomarkers. Unlike methods such as qPCR, immunohistochemistry or ELISA requiring disruption of cells by lysis and fixation, the SCAN tool operation offers detection of biomarkers without cell disruption. SCAN tool is conducive to on-orbit operations because it requires minimal crew time and expertise, and small sample size.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Besides NASA's on-orbit application, the SCAN tool could be used by biotech and medical industries to perform non disruptive immuno-based cell biomarker detection, similar to that done by flow cytometry. In general, any existing immuno-based cell biomarker detection required for research and development, could potentially be accomplished with our proposed approach which offers compact size, low power consumption, low cost, and full automation.

The required modification for each new application would be development and verification of surface chemistry for different biomarkers. Advancement of the SCAN tool to additional cell types could potentially reach into the flow cytometry market. We believe we could offer significant cost savings: given that this is a cartridge-based system, mass-production of these cartridges (after initial development of the surface chemistry) could bring costs to as little as $10 per test, compared with approximately $250 per test for flow cytometry.

The SCAN tool would be particularly suited as a tool for increasing efficiency of biomarker detection in a research lab where, rapid accurate diagnosis is highly desirable, as are, portability, ruggedness and containment, all of which are also required features of the SCAN tool.

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.)
Health Monitoring & Sensing (see also Sensors)

Form Generated on 04-23-14 17:37