Tech Exchange

Products of Tomorrow: November 2014

The technologies NASA develops don’t just blast off into space. They also improve our lives here on Earth. Life-saving search-and-rescue tools, implantable medical devices, advances in commercial aircraft safety, increased accuracy in weather forecasting, and the miniature cameras in our cellphones are just some of the examples of NASA-developed technology used in products today.

Posted in: Products, Techs for License, Articles

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DBD Device Offers Transdermal Medicine Delivery

DBD Innovations Iontophoresis is a well-researched technique for delivering medicines and cosmetic agents through the skin. Current techniques, however, are inefficient, and existing devices are often expensive, bulky, and awkward. A Dielectric Barrier Discharge Iontophoresis (DBDI) solution enhances the efficacy of existing remedies by applying a small electronic device to the treated area.

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Dispensing Closure Technology Seals and Separates Ingredients

StarOne Group The Drop-Top™, a container closure and delivery system, features an internal, multi-cavity design that stores up to three separate doses of ingredients, including liquids, powders, gases, granules, or tablets. The dispensing closure technology increases the shelf life of products that are not stable in oxygen or aqueous solutions, and stores highly sensitive products that cannot have any contact with the environment or specific ingredients.

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Extended-Wear Patches for Skin Hydration

Moisturizers and active ingredients must be held against human skin in a patch format. To enhance uptake, a new material needs to be designed for extended wear from 1-10 hours. Comfort and physical flexibility are two chief requirements. Ideally, the patch will also reduce the appearance of wrinkles. Proposed materials must cover large or small areas of skin, and conform to the shapes of those areas. Possible solution areas include natural and synthetic yarns or materials, wovens and nonwovens, and extruded or film materials. The materials may be held against the skin by a suitable adhesive.

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Monitoring Battery Health in Solar-Charged Systems

In solar-powered, battery-run systems, each unit’s battery stores electricity generated by the solar panel during the day and provides electricity to a load when required. The systems currently are networked, but no method is in place to determine or report battery health. A client seeks ways to pre-emptively warn the customer when a battery is about to reach the end of its useful life. Possible solution areas include algorithmic technologies based on time-varying voltage, current, and other metrics during charge/discharge cycles.

Posted in: Tech Needs

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Sterility Verification of a Flowing Liquid

A client seeks a device capable of detecting contamination in a liquid flow. The system needs to detect non-liquid particles, bacteria, yeasts, mold, and/or spores in a continuous liquid stream. Any proposed sensing methodology must not physically interact with the liquid flowing in the interior of the channel. In operation, the detection system should report any contamination; the nature of the contamination can be determined later. A proposed solution need not identify the specific contaminant. An optical or light-based system is desired, but a variety of technologies may be acceptable if they do not require the fluid flow to be sampled directly.

Posted in: Tech Needs, NASA Tech Needs

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Fabrics with an Inherent Thickness

A foam shape must be replaced with a knitted, woven, or nonwoven fabric that derives its thickness from the geometric structure of its components. The current application uses polyurethane foams that range from millimeters to 2 cm thick. The foams offer little or no ventilation in a situation where air circulation can be critical. New materials at the fiber level must be used to create a light fabric with a build-in structural thickness and loft. Possible solution areas include mathematical models of knitting matrices and nonwoven manufacturing techniques.

Posted in: Tech Needs, NASA Tech Needs

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