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An Antibody Microarray for the detection of Life Signatures in Ocean World Samples

Award Information
Agency: National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Branch: N/A
Contract: 80NSSC22PB030
Agency Tracking Number: 222019
Amount: $124,188.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Solicitation Topic Code: S13
Solicitation Number: SBIR_22_P1
Solicitation Year: 2022
Award Year: 2022
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2022-07-20
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2023-01-25
Small Business Information
89 Rumford Avenue
Newton, MA 02466-1311
United States
DUNS: 066594979
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: No
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: No
Principal Investigator
 Douglas Donaldson
 (781) 529-0507
Business Contact
 Angeline Green
Phone: (781) 529-0580
Research Institution

One of NASArsquo;s goals is to determine if past or present life exists outside of Earth. Ocean worlds, bodies that contain liquid oceans, contain many of the key ingredients thought to be necessary for life. Ocean worlds such as Jupiterrsquo;s moon Europa and Saturnrsquo;s moons Titan and Enceladus, are all ocean worlds that are considered prospects for harboring life. NASA is currently funding efforts to develop technologies capable of detecting molecular signatures of life. Giner proposes to assist in these efforts with the invention of a life detection instrument called the Biosignature Life Chip. This instrument utilizes an antibody microarray with antibodies specific to conserved molecular markers that are widely represented in life on Earth. This approach is compatible with NASArsquo;s definition of life, which seeks organisms capable of evolution. Such organisms will likely have similar molecular features including proteins encoded by DNA and cell membranes which encapsulate organelles. Although similar microarray life detection instruments have been proposed, Ginerrsquo;s Biosignature Detection Chip is unique in that it utilizes surface plasmon resonance (SPR) for detection rather than fluorescent detection with labeled secondary antibodies. This allows for a simplified instrument which carriers fewer reagents and buffers and utilizes fewer steps than other similar devices. Ginerrsquo;s Phase I efforts will be directed toward achieving TLR3 by developing an SPR assay capable of selective and specific detection of target antigens. With the completion of Phase I, we will report on the performance of the antibody microarray including sensitivity, specificity, and selectivity for each antibody in the array. Phase II efforts will expand the number of evaluated antibodies and will include the development of a prototype SPR device.

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

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