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Lab-On-a-Chip Application Development (LOCAD): Bridging Technology Readiness for ExplorationAt Marshall Space Flight Center we have established a capability to investigate the use of microfluidics for space flight. The Lab-On-a-Chip Application Development (LOCAD) team has created a program for advancing Technology Readiness Levels (TRL) of 1 and 2 to TRL 6 and 7, quickly and economically for Lab-On-a-Chip (LOC) applications. Scientists and engineers can utilize LOCAD'S process to efficiently learn about microfluidics and determine if microfluidics is applicable to their needs. Once the applicability has been determined, LOCAD can then perform tests to develop the new fluidic protocols which are different from macro-scale chemical reaction protocols. With this information new micro-fluidic devices can be created and tested. Currently, LOCAD is focused on using microfluidics for both Environmental Monitoring & Control, and Medical Systems. Eventually, handheld portable units utilizing LOC technology will perform rapid tests to determine water quality, and microbial contamination levels. Since LOC technology is drastically reduced in physical size, it thereby reduces power, weight, volume, and sample requirements, a big advantage considering the resource constraints associated with spaceflight. Another one of LOCAD's current activities is the development of a microfluidic system to aid in the search for life on Mars.
Document ID
Document Type
Conference Paper
Spearing, Scott F.
Jenkins, Andy
Date Acquired
August 22, 2013
Publication Date
January 1, 2004
Subject Category
Meeting Information
Conference on Micro-Nano-Technologies for Aerospace Applications(Monterey, CA)
Funding Number(s)
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.