Building on its continuing innovation on life detection using microfluidic devices, LMT is partnering with the NASA Ames Research Center (ARC) on its LIfE (Luminescence Imager for Exploration) project. LIfE will mature a microfluidic-based fluorescence imaging microscope for the detection and study of biomarkers and structural indicators of microbial life in icy world environments.
For the LIfE project, LMT will lead the design and development of the core optofluidics system prototype. The LIfE platform will be designed for biostructure fluorescence imaging using deep-ultraviolet (DUV) and visible light excitation. The LIfE project is being led by ARC and funded by NASA's Concepts for Ocean Worlds Life Detection Technology (COLDTech) program, which is focused on detection of extant life in the "Ocean Worlds" of the outer Solar System. The LIfE platform is being built as a spacecraft-based instrument for surface and subsurface exploration of ocean worlds such as Europa and Enceladus.