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Small Business Innovation Research/Small Business Tech Transfer

Lab-on-a-chip Astrobiology Analyzer, Phase II

Completed Technology Project

Project Description

Lab-on-a-chip Astrobiology Analyzer, Phase II
The overall goal of this program (through Phase III) is to develop an analyzer to measure chemical signatures of life in extraterrestrial settings. The analyzer will employ a lab-on-a-chip to extract biochemical signatures from soil or water samples and surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS) to detect and identify the signatures. The Phase I program successfully employed a metal-doped sol-gel to both chemically separate and generate SERS of amino acids in flowing water. This novel approach measured 19 of the 20 protein amino acids typically at 1 microg/mL (1 part-per-million) in 1 minute with estimated limits of detection of 10-100 nanog/mL (10-100 part-per-billion). The Phase II program will design, build and test a prototype lab-on-a-chip using 96 chemicals. The program includes a clear path to improving sensitivity by 4-orders of magnitude to part-per-trillion sensitivity. The prototype will be demonstrated at Hamilton Sundstrand's Pomona facilities to initiate a Phase III collaboration. More »

Primary U.S. Work Locations and Key Partners

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This is a historic project that was completed before the creation of TechPort on October 1, 2012. Available data has been included. This record may contain less data than currently active projects.