Tech Exchange

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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Mechanism Allows Pedals to be Used Together or Separately

Current bicycle mechanisms allow only alternate use of pedals, thus halving possible torque. A new arrangement allows simultaneous use of both pedals. The TEJJ cycle uses the force of alternately pushed pedals to start or maintain momentum. When carrying higher loads or climbing a hill, a rider can also optionally push both pedals simultaneously to increase torque. Springs return the pedals to their optimum driving position, and the main driving gear freewheels even as the pedal returns to the driving position. The new mechanism has application for pedal-driven carts of all kinds, and in pedal-driven vehicles for the disabled.

Posted in: Techs for License

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Technology Tests for Unwanted Microorganisms

Clinical and industrial instruments, clothing, gloves, and work surfaces may contain or acquire microorganisms, which flourish or grow as a function of the environment in which they are located. Such growth may lead to the proliferation of toxin- or allergen-producing pathogenic organisms. Using nucleic acids, a new technology provides a more sensitive, convenient, and less costly way to test for the presence of unwanted microorganisms.

Posted in: Techs for License

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Additives to Minimize Dirt Accumulation

Polymeric and non-polymeric additives must release dirt from stucco, decks, and other coated architectural surfaces. A client seeks hydrophobic surfaces that are hard rather than tacky, and offer low surface tension and high contact angle. Preferably, a homeowner could spray these enhanced coatings with water and quickly wash away accumulated dirt. The additives must be compatible with water-based systems such as acrylics and styrene-acrylics or alkyds, as well as with polyurethanes and epoxies. Technology options must also accept occasional re-coating, and resist standard soaps and household cleaners.

Posted in: Tech Needs

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Cost-Effective Cholesterol Tests

A client seeks a simple, small, and cost-effective diagnostic cholesterol test kit. The technology must be used directly by a consumer, possibly as an in-home test kit. Results should be visible immediately and show different levels, including normal, moderately elevated, or high cholesterol. Solutions could be minimally or non-invasive diagnostics that detect one or multiple states, and could include tests for blood, breath, saliva, sweat, urine, or tongue scraping. Ideally, tests must be validated against standard blood cholesterol tests, and detect a 10% change in total cholesterol.

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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