Lab-on-a-chip Astrobiology Analyzer
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.
Small Business Information at Submission:
Real-Time Analyzers, Inc.
87 Church Street East Hartford, CT 06108
Number of Employees: