Label-Free, High-Throughput Proteomics Analyzer
The Space Station Biological Research Program at NASA is developing advanced facilities, including cell culture systems to conduct microgravity research in cell biology onboard the Space Station. These systems will provide basic and essential infrastructure for space-based cell biology research. However, full utilization of the Space Station biological research facilities will require additional instrumentation with specialized capabilities for quantitative cell analysis. The development of highly automated and miniaturized instrumentation and advanced methodologies has been singled out as a high research priority in Space Biology; the present proposal addresses this NASA need. A fundamental biological process in which gravity is known to play a role is gene expression. We propose development of a novel surface plasmon resonance imaging spectrometer system for label-free protein expression profiling in space. The system will consist of a rugged, compact instrument with low mass and low power consumption, and a proteomics biosensor chip array integrated into a microfluidics cartridge. The label-free nature of the system makes it ideally suited for space-based application as it will permit direct seamless coupling between cell culture samples and the biosensor to make it possible and convenient to perform complex cellular analyses in real time within the resource limitations and triple containment constraints extant in the Space Station.
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111 Roberts Street, Suite K East Hartford, CT 06108
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