Form 9.B Project Summary

Chron: 971719

Proposal Number: 18.01-1100

Project Title: Detection and Measurement of Large Chiral Organic Molecules Using Molecular Imprinting (MI) Technology

Technical Abstract (Limit 200 words)

The need for robust, compact in situ sensors which are easily cleaned and do not introduce foreign biological materials is a must for planetary exploration. Systems & Processes Engineering Corporation (SPEC) and Dr. J.P. Chambers of University of Texas at San Antonio propose to use molecular imprinting (MI) technology to fabricate artificial receptors for detection and measurement of large chiral organic molecules. The MI technology will provide a means of developing non-biological based receptors for the detection and measurement of large chiral molecules which currently do not exist. Recently, Dr. Chambers has successfully constructed, tested and demonstrated highly selective discrimination of molecularly similar compounds including m-conotoxins, fluorescein, and NATA using the MI technology. In Phase I, SPEC and Dr. Chambers propose to develop and demonstrate the MI technology for biosensor detection and measurement of a candidate large chiral organic molecule of interest to NASA. Polymer based MI receptors are easily cleaned and sterilized with little or no binding degradation. In Phase II, SPEC will proceed to develop, construct and fabricate a compact MI biosensor prototype for chiral detection and measurement. The final biosensor system will be small, light-weight and require low power and will be suitable for planetary applications.

Potential Commercial Applications (Limit 200 words)

The development of compact, stable biosensors based on MI receptors 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. In addition to its use for discrimination of chiral molecules, the MI biosensor can be used to detect toxins, dangerous chemicals, and hazardous environmental agents. MI devices could significantly impact on the projected half-billion dollar market for biosensors in the year 2000.

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

401 Camp Craft Road , 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