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Center Innovation Fund: ARC CIF

Manufacturing of Tunable Printable Biosensors During Human Space Flight (CIF)

Completed Technology Project

Project Introduction

In the area of Exploration Medical Capability, the Human Research Program’s goal is to the shrink a hospital lab for spaceflight, an environment where astronauts will not have access for large analytical tools.  Many of these diagnostic tools can be in the form of simple to use lab-on-a-chip devices.  Our objective is to generate a sensor manufacturing methodology that is highly tunable for a variety of targets and is suitable for in-space manufacturing.  Our proposed solution is a paper based printed electrochemical biosensor that can accept fluids such as blood or urine.

Our proposed solution is a paper based printed electrochemical biosensor that can accept fluids such as blood or urine.  This platform has several advantages for long duration space flight.  First, sample fluid moves by a capillary action through the paper substrate as opposed to traditional PDMS microfluidics, which have known complications in microgravity.  Secondly, the sensor fabrication is accomplished using simple printers, thermal, piezoelectric drop on demand or atmospheric plasma, to define the microfluidic channels and electrode.  An electrode comprised of a network of carbon nanotubes (CNTs) has been integrated within paper substrates. 

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