Portable Gene Expression Array Reader for NASA Applications
In recent decades, there has been significant progress in the fields of biotechnology, molecular biology, and genetics. These efforts have enabled deciphering of the human genome, and have fueled the development of microarray technologies for studying the very basis of life; how genes and proteins develop, function, and how they can change under certain conditions. Commercially available microarray readers are not suitable for space use. To perform experiments in space, NASA needs a portable, lightweight, sensitive microarray reader. In Phase I, Intelligent Optical Systems (IOS) demonstrated a lightweight, low power, compact, gene microarray reader for monitoring gene expression. The high sensitivity was achieved by utilizing nanoparticles as labels, and evanescent field ellipsometry for detection. The Phase I results showed an attractive alternative to fluorescence as a microarray readout method. The sensitivity, resolution, measurement speed, and simplicity of IOS?s system exactly match NASA's requirements. In Phase II, IOS will design and construct a compact portable microarray reader for NASA?s use. The biochip preparation and testing procedures will be optimized and the prototype device?s performance will be optimized. At the end of Phase II, IOS will deliver to NASA an effective, working prototype device, along with 20 gene chips for testing.
Small Business Information at Submission:
Intelligent Optical Systems, Inc.
2520 W. 237th Street Torrance, CA 90505
Number of Employees: