LMT is developing technology to help NASA monitor inorganic ions in the water systems of the International Space Station (ISS) in order to keep the crew healthy and safe. LMT will advance current state-of-the-art technologies by developing a Microchip Capillary Electrophoresis (MCE) system with Capacitively-Coupled Contactless Detection (C4D) for the rapid separation, detection and quantification of inorganic ions specified in NASA Spacecraft Water Exposure Guidelines (SWEG).
Chemical separation and analysis of inorganic ions from aqueous matrices is a fundamental need in many industries including: pharmaceutical, chemical, food and beverage, environmental, and medical, and biotech. LMT's compact automated system will be particularly suited for the measurement of trace levels of inorganic contaminates in drinking water supplies, the need for which reaches globally. The innovative power of our system stems from robustness of the detection system, which greatly improves portability allowing use in remote regions across the globe. This detection approach is to be packed in to a versatile user-friendly system that can be used to automate routine sample processing or serve as the basis of a high fidelity research instrument with the ability to couple multiple detection systems (e.g., Laser Induced Fluorescence and C4D) in the same unit. In this configuration, the instrument will provide the capability for end-to-end organic and inorganic chemical analysis of complex matrices. As an automated system for medical applications, our instrument will provide point-of-use technology for the identification and quantification of inorganics (and organics) in biological fluids with lab-on-a-chip analysis. The instrument is well suited for numerous potential commercial applications where separation and of inorganic species is required including: soil analysis, water analysis, and diagnostics.