NASA Tech Needs

Delivery of Antiseptic/Antimicrobial Formulation

A company must deliver a measured amount of antiseptic/ antimicrobial formulation to a specific surface area (between 1 to 3 square feet) and be able to verify visually that the area has been adequately covered and treated. Currently, the antimicrobial formulation is a liquid with a viscosity approximately that of water. Methods must maintain the sterility of the unused product until its outer protective packaging is opened. Data must also show the efficacy of the application method, including improved completeness of coverage, depth of penetration, or ease and simplicity of use.

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Reduction of Liquid Temperatures in Metal/Glass Containers

Beverages, when served cold, quickly heat up during consumption. A client seeks material and process technologies that will insulate against heat gain or actively reduce temperature of liquids contained in glass bottles or metal cans. Processes that enable the printing, coating, and spraying of foam-like or phase-change materials are also of interest. Potential solution areas include insulation materials, aerogels, cooling hydrogels, and foaming polymers. The material must not be more than 250 microns thick.

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Preservation of High-Water-Content Fruit

As fresh produce undergoes a number of processes from point of harvest to final products like yogurt, ice cream, pasta sauces, and frozen meals, its natural characteristics are altered. To ensure a fresh taste and texture, a company seeks technology, ingredients, or processes that preserve the natural characteristics of fruit or vegetables throughout processing. Solutions that enable frozen fruit or vegetables to have soft, fresh-like texture, appearance, color, and flavor characteristics are of high interest. Potential options include alternative freezing processes, partial dehydration/drying, water content modifiers, and ingredients or coatings to encapsulate structure.

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Removal of Kinetic Energy Associated with Transporting Light

A client seeks innovative ways to control the kinetic energy of moving products through high-speed manufacturing and filling processes. The company requires aluminum and tinplated food and beverage cans to be conveyed and transported during production without damage. Products are small (40-70 mm cylinder diameter), thin (wall thickness of ~100 microns), lightweight (

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Non-Invasive Intra-Cranial Pressure Monitoring

Because manned spaceflight still imposes unknown stresses on the human body, NASA is seeking non-invasive technological approaches for intra-cranial pressure measurement. A baseline must be established on the ground, and then periodic measurements will be taken during flight — possibly over several months to a year. For consistency, it is important for the same technology to be used both on the ground and in space. The method and equipment must operate independent of gravity and acceleration. Materials and designs for spaceflight should anticipate the potential for high radiation exposure.

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Better Foam Generation

Foam is a key indicator of efficacy and performance for a range of consumer pharmaceutical and food products. A company seeks cost-effective physical and mechanical technologies for enhanced foam generation and stability. Devices that are able to generate a high volume of foam from low-concentration, surfactant-based formulations are especially of interest. Possible solutions include packaging technologies that alter the ingress of fluid dynamics in a surfactant-containing cage, or that impact the entrapment of air in a squeezable bottle or aerosol. Nozzles and pharmaceutical/dermatological foam-generation devices are also suitable options.

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Printing Technology for PVA Film

A company seeks technology options for printing on a moving Polyvinyl Alcohol (PVA) film web before or during the production of liquitabs and other unit dose products. The technology must be able to print on PVA film either on-line (preferred), at line, or offline. The film production method, which will require a specific picture, should occur without damaging the individual pouches. Three colors are needed: black, red, and white. Printing must be dry in 10 seconds or less, assuming 2-micron thickness. The finished product should also maintain the current dilution profile in water.

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