The NASA application for the (MCMSD) technology will be as Flight Hardware for deployment in support of future, long duration exploration missions to Mars or other Near Earth Objects (NEOs) where the availability of emergency medical support will be highly valued. Many medical procedures require aspiration, such as removal of saliva and blood during dental procedures; blood and loose tissue during surgery; or vomit, mucous, and saliva during airway management. The MCMSD provides a simple, energy efficient microgravity compatible method to trap and contain blood, urine, saline rinse water, vomitus, and other multi-phase biological materials. The MCMSD irreversibly traps these biological materials in a porous matrix and retains infectious agents from the aspirator gas stream while eliminating the possibility of spillage. The MCMSD fills the medical need for aspiration where there is currently no commercially available device that will effectively and cleanly aspirate biological materials in microgravity.
The MCMSD technology is gravity independent and can be used both in microgravity on commercial space flights and terrestrially by emergency medical personnel. In both military and civilian emergency medicine, aspirator collection consists of a gravity dependent reservoir connected to a vacuum source. The reservoir must remain vertical to prevent blockage/damage of the vacuum pump and guard valves. Excessive tipping or jostling of the reservoir can result in loss of suction. The operation of the MCMSD is not affected by orientation to Earth gravity field and allows medical personnel to focus on the patient and not on an aspirator reservoir. Additionally, the MCMSD cartridge is sealed and disposed of, while a reservoir must be manually emptied resulting in possible exposure of medical personnel to infectious agents. These advantages make the MCMSD the clear choice when trouble-free aspiration is required 'in the field' or during transportation of the patient.