Form 9.B Project Summary

Chron: 972459

Proposal Number: 10.02-1100

Project Title: Reusable, Reagentless Biosensor for Monitoring of Spacecraft/habitat Environment

Technical Abstract (Limit 200 words)

Systems & Processes Engineering Corporation (SPEC), in collaboration with Professor Carl Batt of Cornell University, proposes to develop a miniaturized, reusable and reagentless biosensor for monitoring of the chemical and microbial quality of the spacecraft/habitat environment. The proposed biosensor measures the fluorescence lifetime of a strategically placed fluorophore near the receptor binding pocket to monitor ligand binding to the receptor. The proximity of the ligand to the fluorophore results in a fluorescence lifetime shift which can be accurately detected and measured by SPEC's proprietary frequency domain lifetime technology. This innovative concept combines the sensitivity and specificity of biological ligand-receptor systems such as antibody-antigen or drug-receptor interactions with the reliability, accuracy and discrimination of fluorescence lifetime measurements. SPEC will utilize its experience in building flight-worthy systems to develop a compact, lightweight, low-power and rugged instrument for space applications. Dr. Batt will direct the molecular biology development effort. For the Phase I, the model biological receptor-ligand system b-lactoglobulin and its ligand retinol will be used to demonstrate proof-of-concept. SPEC will construct a breadboard system for lifetime measurements of the model receptor-ligand system. In the Phase II program, a prototype system will be constructed and delivered to NASA for field testing.

Potential Commercial Applications (Limit 200 words)

The development of a compact, low-cost receptor-ligand diagnostic instrument capable of providing rapid results has significant commercial applications as home diagnostic devices, medical research tools, food processing monitors, clinical instruments and environmental detectors as well as for NASA and the Department of Defense. Biological receptors can provide high specificity in the detection of chemicals, pathogens, and environmentally hazardous biological organisms. The use of lifetime fluorometry results in a commercially valuable reusable and reagentless diagnostic device.

Name and Address of Principal Investigator (Name,

Organization Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip)

Robert C. Chin, Ph.D.

Systems & Processes Engineering Corp.

401 Camp Craft Road

Austin , TX 78746-6558

Name and Address of Offeror (Firm Name, Mail Address,


James McNeal

Systems & Processes Engineering Corp.

401 Camp Craft Road

Austin , TX 78746-6558