You are here

Engineered Peptoid Sensor for Microbial Monitoring in Spacecraft Cabins

Award Information
Agency: National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Branch: N/A
Contract: 80NSSC20C0548
Agency Tracking Number: 204632
Amount: $125,000.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Solicitation Topic Code: H3
Solicitation Number: SBIR_20_P1
Solicitation Year: 2020
Award Year: 2020
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2020-08-25
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2021-03-01
Small Business Information
249 Alexandra Loop
Elkins, AR 72727-3707
United States
DUNS: 080935200
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: Yes
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: No
Principal Investigator
 Shelby Foster
 (918) 924-1565
Business Contact
 Shelby Foster
Phone: (918) 924-1565
Research Institution

Currently, there is a need for sensing technology that can reliably detect microbial growth at its initial stages for air, surfaces, and potable water, well before substantial microbial growth, contamination, and microbial-induced corrosion can occur.nbsp; The current approach used to determine microbial growth is through analytical microbiology, which relies on sampling from tanks and analysis of these grab samples in a high-tech laboratory with specialized equipment (e.g., polymerase chain reaction (PCR) DNA techniques).nbsp; There are several drawbacks to this current approach.nbsp; First, analysis of the dynamics of microbial growth and microbial contamination is completely lost; single grab samples over time are unlikely to show how fast the microbial growth is advancing, and if enough grab samples are taken to try to track the dynamics of microbial growth, there is then a sample number/volume challenge in being able to analyze many samples in a timely manner.nbsp; Second, an analytical instrumentation laboratory requires highly specialized and trained scientists and operators, which limits the feasibility of many operations having good access to such a laboratory.nbsp; Third, this approach is time intensive; it often takes days to weeks to obtain and analyze grab samples in an analytical laboratory.nbsp; Finally, this approach does not offer any real-time or online information about microbial growth and therefore is likely to miss early-stage growth where identification and mitigation are ideal; the longer the microbes are allowed to grow, the worse the damage is to the air, surface, and water quality.nbsp; For all of these reasons, on-line, inline technology is desired and required to enable spacecraft operations to easily identify microbial contamination in air, surfaces, and potable waternbsp;early enough to address safety and health quality concerns.

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

US Flag An Official Website of the United States Government