NASA SBIR 2015 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 15-1 H14.01-9699
SUBTOPIC TITLE: International Space Station (ISS) Utilization
PROPOSAL TITLE: LMM Holographic Optical Tweezers (HOT) Module

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Boulder Nonlinear Systems, Inc.
450 Courtney Way, Unit 107
Lafayette, CO 80026 - 8878
(303) 604-0077

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Mr. Steve Serati
450 Courtney Way
Lafayette, CO 80026 - 8878
(303) 604-0077

CORPORATE/BUSINESS OFFICIAL (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Mr. Mark Tanner
450 Courtney Way, Unit 107
Lafayette, CO 80026 - 8878
(303) 604-0077

Estimated Technology Readiness Level (TRL) at beginning and end of contract:
Begin: 4
End: 5

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)
We propose to expand the capabilities of the LMM for colloidal and other research by developing a holographic optical tweezers (HOT) module, allowing solid-state software-controlled micromanipulation with no moving parts.
A HOT device produces hundreds of independently-steerable and independently-focusable beams, as well as other arbitrarily-complex 3D illumination patterns. HOT is useful for colloidal research, with the ability to precisely position collections of particles within colloids, and to use optically-trapped particles to measure linear and nonlinear viscoelastic properties of fluids. Each HOT beam can be a traditional trapping beam, or can impart rotational angular momentum to particles via Bessel beam profiles. HOT systems are also used in biological research, for example in measuring the mobility and deformability of cells (a measure of cellular health, and an indicator of damage), and in rotating or sorting individual cells.
All of these capabilities are possible using the same hardware, with beam configuration, power, and motion controlled entirely by software and voltage applied to a motionless solid-state device. Due to its built-in adaptive optics capability, a HOT system can also diagnose and correct for its own alignment errors. The ability to remotely add, upgrade, or repair capabilities via software alone makes holographic micromanipulation a core capability for ISS research.
BNS proposes to develop a HOT module for the LMM, capitalizing on our previous experience in developing a commercially-available standalone HOT microscope, our current efforts toward developing a multibeam holographic photostimulation module for commercial microscopes, and on our widely-used, flight-tested spatial light modulators (SLMs).

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
A key strength of the HOT platform is that its capabilities can be greatly expanded through software, rather than hardware, upgrade, allowing a wide range of additional experiments to be designed and executed. The instructions sent to the HOT module are simple (x,y,z) trapping beam locations and types, making it straightforward for remote PIs to design new automated routines. For example, remote mixing of a colloidal sample could be initiated by using beams to stir the sample in a preprogrammed pseudorandom pattern. Other functionalities enabled by software alone include 3D imaging of colloids while trapping, automated particle detection and trapping, remote construction of microfluidic valves and pumps from assemblies of trapped particles, and cell elasticity/deformability measurements. In addition, the existence of a space-qualified liquid crystal spatial light modulator (SLM) will enable the development of future SLM-based technologies. An SLM can be used in the imaging train of a microscope to enable simultaneous multifocal brightfield, darkfield, and phase contrast imaging. In addition, SLMs are used in the creation of advanced tractor beams, able to show particle manipulation over tens of cm, with potential applications in remote sampling. SLMs are also a low size, weight, and power solution for steering visible and infrared beams with no moving parts. The prior use of SLMs in the ISS should aid in the development of these and future space-based SLM technologies.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
The software and hardware developed for the HOT module in the LMM will be directly usable in other microgravity colloidal experiments, enabled by the growing availability of commercial spaceflight. In addition, these advances will enable progress in colloidal research beyond microgravity. The LMM's underlying commercial Leica hardware will make the HOT module easily adapted for other Leica microscopes, expanding the availability of turnkey spatial light modulator (SLM)-based microscope modules. Applications for SLMs in microscopy include optogenetics for neuroscience research, micromanipulation, 3D imaging, and aberration correction for imaging deep into tissue. To date, the primary users of SLM technology in microscopy have represented the cutting edge of research in new equipment development, using mostly home-built equipment inaccessible to the nonspecialist research community. A current major effort at BNS is to make SLM-based research equipment more robust and user friendly, broadening its availability and usefulness. The advances in software and hardware robustness involved in building a flight-capable platform will benefit these and future developments.

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.)
Analytical Instruments (Solid, Liquid, Gas, Plasma, Energy; see also Sensors)
Biological (see also Biological Health/Life Support)
Detectors (see also Sensors)
Lasers (Measuring/Sensing)
Materials & Structures (including Optoelectronics)
Microfabrication (and smaller; see also Electronics; Mechanical Systems; Photonics)
Optical/Photonic (see also Photonics)

Form Generated on 04-23-15 15:37