An Electrochemical, Point-of-Care Detector for Reagent-free, In-situ Diagnostics of Pathogens

Award Information
Agency: National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Branch: N/A
Contract: NNX12CG02P
Agency Tracking Number: 110060
Amount: $124,923.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: STTR
Awards Year: 2012
Solicitation Year: 2011
Solicitation Topic Code: T1.02
Solicitation Number: N/A
Small Business Information
AL, Huntsville, AL, 35805-1944
DUNS: 185169620
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: Y
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Jianjun Wei
 Principal Investigator
 (256) 327-0672
Business Contact
 Silvia Harvey
Title: Business Official
Phone: (256) 726-4858
Research Institution
 Marilyn Haapapuro
 Marilyn Haapapuro
 1400 Townsend Drive
Houghton, MI, 49931-1295
 () -
 Domestic nonprofit research organization
For long-term exploratory space travel, there will be a critical need for in-situ diagnosis and assessment of biological specimens from symptomatic astronauts, especially, disease pathogens (virus, bacterium, or fungus) and microbial contaminants. Hence, a real-time, non-culture-based microbial detection, identification and quantification system for on-flight monitoring and evaluation of pathogens from astronauts, or the space environment, is strongly desired. The success of such diagnostic tasks critically depends upon the degree of automation and reliability of such trace level detection. To meet this need, we propose to develop a novel miniaturized, point-of-care (POC) detector for reagent-free, no-culturing, in-situ diagnostics of disease pathogens. The envisioned device will be compact, lightweight, fully integrated and automated (requiring minimum human intervention), and highly cost-effective and power-efficient. In Phase I, we will develop a new type of electrochemical molecules and fabricate solid electrode-based probe for in-vitro demonstration of accurate and effective signal transduction of selective binding of pathogenic cells to the electrode as proof-of-principle. In Phase II, the electrode probe will be optimized to increase specificity, sensitivity, stability, and the response to regular biological samples. Finally, the sensor will be integrated with a compact handheld instrument for data collection, analysis and processing and interfacing with existing NASA space instrumentation for both terrestrial and microgravity environments evaluation.

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

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