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Small Business Innovation Research/Small Business Tech Transfer

Novel Microfluidic Instrument for Spacecraft Environmental Monitoring

Completed Technology Project
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Project Description

Novel Microfluidic Instrument for Spacecraft Environmental Monitoring
HJ Science & Technology, Inc. proposes to demonstrate the feasibility of an integrated "lab-on-a-chip" technology capable of in-situ, high throughput, and real time identification and characterization of a variety of toxic metals, organics, and bacteria biomarkers in spacecraft water supplies onboard the International Space Station. The novel technology combines automated programmable on-chip sample processing technology, microchip capillary electrophoresis, and laser induced fluorescence detection in a miniaturized format. In terms of spacecraft environmental monitoring, the in situ measurement capability of our portable platform offers important advantages including reduction in time and cost, real-time data for better and more timely decision making, and reduction in sample consumption. In addition to the unprecedented sensitivity, efficiency, selectivity, and throughput compared with the current state-of-the-art technologies, the proposed miniature instrument also meets the stringent space-flight requirements including small consumption of sample and reagent , low-mass, low–power consumption, rapid analysis time, and microgravity compatibility. In Phase I, we will establish the technical feasibility of the technology by analyzing fluorescently labeled ketones and aldehydes as a proof of principle demonstration. In Phase II, the main focus will direct towards the development of a miniaturized prototype to be delivered to NASA by incorporating the most promising design based on the results of Phase I as well including additional detection modules in order to extend the measurement and analysis capability to other contaminants relevant to spacecraft environmental monitoring. More »

Anticipated Benefits

Primary U.S. Work Locations and Key Partners

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