January 22, 2016
LLNL biologist, Matt Coleman, along with team of 5 other researchers from NASA, UC Davis, and Sandia will be presented a 2015 NASA Ames Technology Transfer Award at a ceremony to be held at NASA Ames on Jan. 27, 2016. The award is in recognition of their patent for a "Portable Medical Diagnosis Instrument ". This was a collaborative effort to develop new technologies for space exploration beyond low earth orbit. The patent covers the development of a comprehensive in-flight medical diagnostic system in a hand-held format weighing less than 1 pound for human deep-space missions such as a mission to Mars. Key features of the device include the ability to handle multiple sample types (breath, saliva, blood, urine), and the ability to measure virtually any biomarker (analyte) including future biomarkers as they emerge. Breath and saliva are fully non-invasive and can provide health assessment information very rapidly, which can be critical immediately following extravehicular activity, and prior to removal of the spacesuit. From small (µL) blood samples, information about macromolecular biomarkers as well as blood cell counts can be obtained. The device also uses wireless (e.g., smart phone) technologies for data analysis and imaging. In addition to space applications, this innovative technology will likely have important spin-offs in medicine and public health here on Earth as well.