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Bio-Digital Wearables or Space Health Enhancement

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Fluid Interfaces

Fluid Interfaces

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Living in space could have significant physical and mental impacts on astronauts. Wearables have the potential to play a critical role in monitoring, supporting, and sustaining human life in space, lessening the need for human medical expert intervention. Lab on Body is a device that integrates laboratory functions on a single integrated device to achieve customizable multiplex health monitoring automation. We demonstrated the vision of integrating such technology with the human body to sense biological signals related to health conditions at the molecular level. We have built prototypes of "wearable lab on body” that actively and continuously monitor human biomarkers from biological fluid. Our platform contains both digital sensors for contextual activity recognition, as well as an automated system for continuous sampling and sensing of chemical biomarkers from saliva by leveraging already existing paper-based biochemical sensors. This information collected from the body can be used to provide real-time feedback and assistance to the person in space, as well as to track their physical and mental health. The platform c… View full description

Living in space could have significant physical and mental impacts on astronauts. Wearables have the potential to play a critical role in monitoring, supporting, and sustaining human life in space, lessening the need for human medical expert intervention. Lab on Body is a device that integrates laboratory functions on a single integrated device to achieve customizable multiplex health monitoring automation. We demonstrated the vision of integrating such technology with the human body to sense biological signals related to health conditions at the molecular level. We have built prototypes of "wearable lab on body” that actively and continuously monitor human biomarkers from biological fluid. Our platform contains both digital sensors for contextual activity recognition, as well as an automated system for continuous sampling and sensing of chemical biomarkers from saliva by leveraging already existing paper-based biochemical sensors. This information collected from the body can be used to provide real-time feedback and assistance to the person in space, as well as to track their physical and mental health. The platform could aid with longitudinal studies of biomarkers and early diagnosis of diseases.

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Fluid Interfaces

Further, BioFab is a proposed programmable bio-digital “organ;" an on-body, digitally-controlled biosynthesis platform for personalized, on-demand production of therapeutics and biomolecules in space. Some of the biologically active compounds of interest include: drugs, vaccines, antibodies, hormones, and other compounds that can be administered to the human body for health, disease prevention, and performance enhancement. We propose to accomplish the first phase of the BioFab vision, namely the design and evaluation of a millifluidic bioreactor prototype to produce example biological compounds on body through the use of a digitally controlled mechanism leveraging engineered genetic circuits in living cells. To interface the biological production with a digital system, we will deploy optogenetics, which is a light-activated gene circuit. The advantage of such a system is that wavelength switching can be used to digitally control what biomolecules and therapeutics are produced, to respond to the astronaut’s current health. Further, the compounds can be produced and administered in smaller quantities and possibly more continuously based on in-the-moment need, as well as during activities such as space excursions when traditional methods for responding to health issues may not be available. Successful development of the completed BioFab platform will enable continuous monitoring and intervention of astronaut health in a closed loop, cutting down the time for health evaluations and allowing crew members to focus on their mission while aspects of astronaut health are being continuously monitored and addressed.

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Fluid Interfaces