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STTR Phase I: Quantum Cascade Laser Spectrometer for Bio-medical Applications

Award Information
Agency: National Science Foundation
Branch: N/A
Contract: 1321508
Agency Tracking Number: 1321508
Amount: $225,000.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: STTR
Solicitation Topic Code: EB
Solicitation Number: N/A
Solicitation Year: 2012
Award Year: 2013
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2013-07-01
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2014-06-30
Small Business Information
16 Camp Washington Road
Long Valley, NJ 07853-3163
United States
DUNS: 133388368
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: Yes
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: No
Principal Investigator
 Igor Trofimov
 (973) 216-7438
Business Contact
 Igor Trofimov
Phone: (973) 216-7438
Research Institution
 Princeton University
 Claire Gmachl
70 Prospect Avenue
Princeton, NJ 08540-
United States

 () -
 Nonprofit College or University

This Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Phase I project will involve research and development of mid-infrared multi-spectral imaging, leading to the first commercial instrument capable of chemical imaging of bio-medical samples. We will develop and demonstrate key technologies to dramatically improve the sensitivity and image contrast of live tissue and other biological samples in-situ. Conventional mid-infrared spectroscopic imaging is based on Fourier Transform Spectrometers that either utilize incandescent light sources, or mid-IR beamlines of synchrotron sources. The applications of the incandescent light sources, however, are severely limited for in-situ studies of biological samples due to low brightness. The synchrotron sources have obvious limitations for the widespread acceptance because of their high cost. Our innovative approach is based on employing recently developed Quantum Cascade lasers that combine a broad tuning range for high selectivity, high output power for high sensitivity, and a Gaussian beam for diffraction limited spatial resolution. This will significantly enhance the utility of mid-IR spectroscopy for biomedical applications. The broader impact/commercial potential of this project, if successful, will be to give researchers a novel tool to leverage the power of mid-infrared spectroscopy in chemical mapping of biological samples. Mid-infrared spectroscopy is arguably the most widely used technique for chemical fingerprinting. The combination of the discriminating power and sensitivity of mid-infrared laser spectroscopy with diffraction limited resolution of laser microscopy will produce new capabilities and a qualitative leap forward in the field of bio-imaging. The proposed laser micro-spectrophotometer addresses an approximately $450M market of mid-IR spectroscopic equipment. Successful development of the technology will have broad implications for the challenges facing modern-day biology and medicine: from the analysis of individual cells to complex tissues, and from the characterization of the physiological status of a sample to sophisticated disease pattern recognition methods. In addition to advancing scientific understanding in these fields, the proposed micro-spectrophotometer will find applications in explosives and chemical warfare detection, pharmaceutical and petro-chemical industries, as well as in pollution control.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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