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Optical NMR using Diamond Quantum Sensing for Imaging Metabolic Processes in Live Cells

Award Information
Agency: Department of Energy
Branch: N/A
Contract: DE-SC0022441
Agency Tracking Number: 0000271112
Amount: $1,650,000.00
Phase: Phase II
Program: SBIR
Solicitation Topic Code: C53-28b
Solicitation Number: N/A
Solicitation Year: 2023
Award Year: 2023
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2023-04-03
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2025-04-02
Small Business Information
PO BOX90696
Raleigh, NC 27675-0696
United States
DUNS: 064596089
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: No
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: No
Principal Investigator
 Olga Shenderova
 (919) 881-0500
Business Contact
 Mary Eberle
Phone: (919) 881-0500
Research Institution

C53-28b-271112Quantum enabled approaches pose new concepts for bioimaging and sensing of biological processes in living biological systems, non-destructively in real time. Processes of interest for bioenergy include measuring enzyme function within cells, tracking metabolic pathways in vivo, monitoring the transport of materials into and out of cells or across cellular membranes and, measuring signaling process between cells and within plant-microbe and microbe-microbe interactions. High-utility organic products (biofuels, biochemicals, biomaterials, etc.) are most effectively produced by way of industrial fermentation enabled by microorganisms such as bacteria, yeast, and fungi. End-product synthesis begins with genetically engineered microbial strains with redirected metabolic paths which either increase the yield of natural metabolites or produce new molecules. Because bioprocess scale-up costs are extremely high, reliable scale-up remains an enormous technical and economic barrier for commercialization of bioprocesses. To provide insight into the metabolic process with the goal of increasing yield, single-cell NMR sensors based on nanodiamond (ND) particles with unique quantum properties are being developed. 13C nuclear spins in nanodiamond will be employed as NMR sensors of the surrounding analyte nuclei. Hyperpolarization of 13C nuclei boost their NMR signal and increase the capability to measure the NMR chemical shift of potential analytes present in nearby hyperpolarized 13C nuclei. Products that will result from this research include a single-cell NMR detector, consisting of a 13C hyperpolarization module and RF detection module, along with the diamond particles that are used by the device. This will enable real-time analysis at a temporal scale of bioprocess dynamics in bioreactors.

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

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