MEMS ELISA Instrument for Automated Assays in Space
Microgravity biotechnology applications are very promising, yet common bioanalytical tools such as ELISA are nonexistent for spacecraft. These powerful assays require numerous preparative sample dilutions prior to application to 96 open wells of a microtiter plate. The open wells are treated with bioreagent additions and wash steps using micropipetters, in addition to incubation steps. Micropipet fluid dispensing is not reasonable in space, and the wash steps produce waste biomaterial. The number of operations is also not an efficient use of astronaut time. OmniSite BioDiagnostics (OmniSite) proposes to develop a compact, fully automated MEMS-based system for performing ELISAs in microgravity environments. The system accepts a syringe injection of the material to be assayed, then automatically performs all of the steps for any standard ELISA evaluation. All dilutions, additions, and wash steps are performed automatically within a disposable MEMS wafer. Waste material is captured by centrifugal force and a wick for easy disposal. In addition to improvements in speed and a reduction in required sample volume, the innovation will expand the capabilities of traditional ELISAs through a tremendous potential increase in the number of microtiter wells, creating substantial markets in applications such as high-throughput drug screening.
Small Business Information at Submission:
Director of Biotechnology
OmniSite BioDiagnostics Inc.
101 W. Sixth Street, Suite 200 Austin, TX 78701
Number of Employees: