Tech Exchange

Natural Food Actives for Positive Mood Enhancement

The overall consumer experience of foods is impacted by various sensory factors including taste, texture, and smell, as well as by ingredients that occur naturally in various foods, which can directly impact one’s mood. Food additives also affect various mood neuro-actives, such as serotonin, adenosine, endorphins, and oxytocin, either through increasing their biosynthesis or by modulating their receptors. A company seeks cost-effective food actives that enhance positive moods in consumers. The technology must be derived from natural sources and be safe for human consumption.

Posted in: Tech Needs
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New Systemic Chemical Insecticides

A client seeks new synthetic (chemical-based) control agents for insects such as aphids and spider mites. The piercing and sucking insects damage plants by inserting their mouthpart into plant tissues and feeding on the juices. Heavily infested plants become yellow, wilted, deformed, or stunted, and may eventually die. There is a need to pursue insect control agents with new modes of action in order to keep insecticide resistance at manageable levels. The proposed insect control agents must be systemic, broad-spectrum insecticides that have low risk to humans and the environment.

Posted in: Tech Needs
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Time-Based Tracker Boosts Solar Energy Production

Solar panels are normally positioned at a fixed position. If a panel uses a tracking system to follow the movement of the Sun, however, more solar energy can be collected. Instead of having light sensors that are often disturbed in cloudy environments, a new time-signal-based system uses a programmable logic controller (PLC) to give a start signal at the end of a fixed time.

Posted in: Techs for License
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Low-Cost Technology Detects Bad Breath

Most individuals experience bad breath (malodor or halitosis) occasionally, but few people can selfdiagnose when it occurs. Proto - types and initial human trial clinical tests have been completed on a low-cost bad-breath detection device. The detector changes color when the user blows through a tube.

Posted in: Techs for License
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Insect Processing Technologies for Chicken Feed

The growing scarcity of resources to produce increasingly demanded ingredients, such as soybean meal and animal protein meals, has doubled feed costs in the recent years. Thus, alternative protein sources, including insects, are urgently needed. Insects must be introduced in the feed chain, and multiple quality parameters need to be taken into account: quality, availability, and cost. Expectations for new technologies include a processing method for the insect, nutritional evaluation, identification of microbiological problems, and financial evaluation to understand the viability of the business.

Posted in: NASA Tech Needs, Tech Needs
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New Synthetic Nematicides

Nematodes are among the most damaging crop pests. Very few available chemical nematicides can affect control, and some options are restricted by the Environmental Protection Agency and similar bodies. Nematodes damage plant roots, and reduce the plant’s ability to take up water and nutrients. The need is great to discover less toxic, and more environmentally acceptable, chemical substitutes for the current suite of commercial nematicides. Successful technologies must demonstrate efficacy against nematodes or nematode damage to plants, provide at least benchtop data to support efficacy claims, and display new and/or multiple modes of action.

Posted in: NASA Tech Needs, Tech Needs
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Zeolite Production Method Removes Soil Pollutants

X-type zeolites use an ion-exchange mechanism to capture and retain heavy metals for soil and water remediation. Zeolites are hydrated aluminosilicate minerals characterized by a three-dimensional open structure. Their cation exchange capacity (CEC), large surface area, and porosity allow the absorption and encapsulation of pollutants. The geopolymer product, containing the zeolites in formation, can be applied directly to contaminated soil, thus immobilizing toxic heavy metals within the zeolite structure during growth and formation.

Posted in: Techs for License
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Low-Loss Dielectric Materials Improve PC Boards

Low-loss dielectric materials are available. The hydrocarbon- based, fiber-reinforced composite sheets can be applied to printed circuit boards and IC chip packaging. The material has a very low dielectric constant and low dissipation factor up to GHz range frequencies, and is advantageous for emerging high-frequency electronics applications as a printed circuit dielectric sheet.

Posted in: Techs for License, Semiconductors & ICs
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Preventing Adhesion of Cellulose to Steel

A client’s application joins cellulose and a resin binder. A combination of the binding agent and fibers sticks to the surface of the steel. The organization therefore seeks novel foams, coatings, and gels to act as a physical buffer between the fibers and the steel. The physical buffer must function up to temperatures of 400 °F. The solution may also provide a blanketing function to keep all particles together during transport of the loose fibers.

Posted in: NASA Tech Needs
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Personal Cleansing Innovations

Personal cleansing after using the bathroom is a worldwide necessity, and various cultures solve that need differently. New devices must facilitate this type of cleaning and deliver soothing formulations onto the skin. The technology will serve as an alternative to Western dry toilet paper, European bidets, and moistened wipes. Proposed formulations must also reduce pain or irritation. Solutions may also contain common ingredients, including aloe, lanolin, or various vitamins.

Posted in: NASA Tech Needs
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