Portable Medical Diagnosis Instrument
The technology utilizes four cutting-edge sensor technologies to enable minimally- or non-invasive analysis of various biological samples, including saliva, breath, and blood. The combination of technologies and sample pathways have unique advantages that collectively provides a powerful analytical capability. The four key technology components include the following: (1) the carbon nanotube (CNT) array designed for the detection of volatile molecules in exhaled breath; (2) a breath condenser surface to isolate nonvolatile breath compounds in exhaled breath; (3) the miniaturized differential mobility spectrometer (DMS) -like device for the detection of volatile and non-volatile molecules in condensed breath and saliva; and (4) the miniaturized circular disk (CD)-based centrifugal microfluidics device that can detect analytes in any liquid sample as well as perform blood cell counts. As an integrated system, the device has two ports for sample entry a mouthpiece for sampling of breath and a port for CD insertion. The breath analysis pathway consists of a CNT array followed by a condenser surface separating liquid and gas phase breath. The exhaled breath condensate is then analyzed via a DMS-like device and the separated gas breath can be analyzed by both CNT sensor array again and by DMS detectors.
health medicine and biotechnology
Noninvasive Therapy for Cartilage Regeneration
Research has shown that exposure of mammalian cartilage and bone tissue to tuned magnetic fields modifies genetic regulation at a cellular level. PEMF therapy relies on modulation and resonance of weak metals (ions) such as Ca2+, K+, Li+, and Mg2+ which can be made to move at the sub-cellular level when exposed to magnetic flux. This NASA technology is a device and method for modifying genetic regulation of cartilage and bone in response to PEMF therapy and may serve as the basis for development of novel therapies for cartilage diseases. In initial studies, cultured human chondrocyte cells (HCH) from patients with early-stage osteoarthritis were exposed to PEMF stimulation using a variety of tuned electro-magnetic pulse characteristics such as flux magnitude, slew rates, rise and fall times, frequency, wavelength, and duty cycle. Waveforms used in testing were monophasic, bi-phasic, square, sinusoidal, and triangular in nature. Frequencies were generally low, ranging from 6-500 Hz, and the waveforms used high rising and falling slew rates on the order of Tesla/sec, promoting pulses or bursts. Cellular catabolic and anabolic gene expression analyses comprised of fold-change (in expression) were accomplished by a survey of 47,000 human genes using an AFFYMETRIX Gene Array. Results show that variation of waveform used in PEMF therapies, independent of flux intensity, influences genetic regulation of HCH from patients with early-stage osteoarthritis.
power generation and storage
Triggering Li-ion Battery Cells with Laser Radiation
This technology is based upon a 120-watt IR laser is coupled to a fiber optic cable that is routed from the output of the laser into a series of focusing optics which directs energy onto a battery cell mounted to a test stand. When activated, heat from the laser penetrates the metal housing, heating the internals of the cell. At a specific temperature, the separator in the first few layers of the cell melts allowing the anode and cathode to make contact and initiates an internal short circuit. The internal short circuit then propagates throughout the battery eventually causing thermal runaway. The lower the wavelength of the laser used to produce the thermal runaway, the more heat-energy will be absorbed into the cell producing a faster result. The fiber optic cable can be terminated into a series of optics to focus the laser at a specific target, or the fiber optic cable can be stripped bare and placed next to the target to heat an isolated location. This method can also be used on a wide variety of cells, including Li-ion pouch cells, Li-ion cylindrical cells and Li-ion Large format cells. The innovation Triggering Li-ion Cells with Laser Radiation is at TRL 6 (which means a system/subsystem prototype has been demonstrated in a relevant environment) and the related patent application is now available to license and develop into a commercial product. Please note that NASA does not manufacture products itself for commercial sale.