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Norwood, MA, United States

Kane S.R.,EIC Laboratories, Inc.
Conference proceedings : ... Annual International Conference of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society. IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society. Conference | Year: 2011

Penetrating multielectrode arrays with electrode coatings of sputtered iridium oxide (SIROF) have been implanted chronically in cat cortex for periods over 300 days. The ability of these electrodes to inject charge at levels above expected thresholds for neural excitation has been examined in vivo by measurements of voltage transients in response to current-controlled, cathodal stimulation pulsing. The effect of current pulse width from 150 μs to 500 μs and voltage biasing of the electrodes in the interpulse period at two levels, 0.0 V and 0.6 V vs. Ag|AgCl, were also investigated. The results of in vivo characterization of the electrodes by open-circuit potential measurements, cyclic voltammetry and impedance spectroscopy are also reported. Source

Agency: Department of Defense | Branch: Army | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 69.97K | Year: 2011

The development of a nano-reinforced metal matrix composite as a low-density, high-strength, replacement for existing metal alloys and composites used in lightweight structures, vehicles, and advanced weapons systems is proposed. The composites are expected to have exceptional mechanical properties that derive from the use of a nano-structured reinforcing phase. In Phase I, aluminum matrix composites will be fabricated and tested as part of a proof-of-concept demonstration. The physical properties expected for the aluminum matrix composites are the following: tensile strength 700 MPa (~100 ksi); elongation to failure>5%; compressive strength 1100 MPa (~160 ksi); density 1.5-2 g/cm3 (~90-125 lb/ft3). These mechanical properties will be achieved through innovations in nano-materials design and fabrication methods that promote high tensile and compressive mechanical strength and stiffness in composites with exceptionally low density. The Phase I program is a collaborative effort between EIC Laboratories and a company with appropriate composite manufacturing capabilities. In Phase II, the fabrication technology would be scaled-up using a near-net-shape process to produce components for Army applications. An extensive characterization and optimization of the composite structure-property relations and evaluation of toughness, corrosion resistance, and shielding properties would also be conducted.

Agency: Department of Energy | Branch: | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase II | Award Amount: 997.89K | Year: 2011

Redox flow batteries (RFB) hold great promise for large scale electrochemical energy storage that will be required for intermittent renewable energy sources like solar or wind. A critical component of the RFB is the membrane which separates anode and cathode compartments. Currently, this is primarily Nafion, but Nafion is not only too expensive, but also lacks in selectivity, permitting leakage between anode and cathode electrolyte compartments. EIC Laboratories proposes the development of a new composite membrane for RFB applications. The membranes will be based on inexpensive feedstocks providing an economical alternative to Nafion and other perfluorinated copolymers, with additional improved selectivity properties. Furthermore, the membrane is to be solvent castable, providing an economical pathway for large scale production. The Phase I results successfully met the stated goals of the Phase I proposal, which were to develop and synthesize a composite membrane using a novel amphiphilic block copolymer, demonstrate a membrane casting technology, and demonstrate the advantages of the new membrane system in a laboratory scale vanadium redox battery (VRB). The new separator is shown to be stronger than Nafion with similar conductivity and stability, yet with much reduced self-discharge and meeting the proposed cost objectives for large scale manufacture. The Phase II program will assess the tradeoff and optimization of membrane properties, including selectivity and conductivity as a function of polymer structure variation, mechanical strength, and long term chemical stability in the VRB cell environment. The cost of materials and processing will be further optimized to bring the total membrane cost to & lt;$50 per square meter. The new membranes will be further characterized and optimized for their performance in experimental VRB cells of increasing scale in order to provide a transition to Phase III. Membrane samples totaling 1 m2 will be delivered to DOE for evaluation, including 100 cm2 by the end of year 1. Commercial Application and Other Benefits: The energy storage applications of RFBs may offer the benefits of improving transmission grid reliability and increase effective transmission capacity. They also provide great benefits for load leveling from variable renewable sources such as wind and solar power.

Agency: Department of Energy | Branch: | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase II | Award Amount: 999.96K | Year: 2014

Concrete is widely used in light water reactor (LWR) constructions as building foundation and support, shielding material and for radiation containment. The importance of concrete in providing protection to LWR structures are found in the containment building, spent fuel pool and cooling towers. The integrity of construction materials like concrete is an important consideration and concern for LWR facilities since degradation of these structural materials can lead to costly maintenance and downtime and also increases the risk of safety. The cause of concrete deterioration can be attributed mainly to chemical attack from chemicals present in the concrete or environment that can lead to chemical changes in the concrete over time. Technologies that can assess the integrity of LWR structures and provide means to mitigate the degradation of reactor structures will help prolong reactor life and diminish the risks of structural failure. A portable, nondestructive assessment (NDA) Raman spectroscopy instrumentation and fiber optically coupled sampling probes with microscopic imaging will be developed. The Raman probe is used to obtain Raman spectra and petrographic image of not only the surface of the concrete structures, but also depth profiles using smallholes drilled into the structure. These data will be used to assess the onset or presence of chemical corrosion in the concrete structure. Commercial Applications and OtherBenefits: The principal market for the NDA Raman tool is in inspection of civil engineering structures. As the current program is focused on concrete aging in light water reactors, likely customers include the NRC as instrumentation provided to their regional inspectors. In addition, operators of the nearly 450 nuclear reactors worldwide are potential customers for instruments to conduct their own periodic in-house inspections.

Agency: Department of Health and Human Services | Branch: National Institutes of Health | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 149.87K | Year: 2015

DESCRIPTION provided by applicant An inexpensive disposable vapor sensor which can also be used for urinalysis can provide rapid field monitoring of pesticide exposure The sensor utilizes Surface Enhanced Raman Spectroscopy SERS to detect chemicals like pesticides that adsorb strongly on roughened SERS substrates in the high parts pre trillion range As the sensors are tuned to the analytes of interest interferences from more concentrated chemicals are limited An earlier research program provided reliable results for organophosphate OP and organochlorine OC pesticides In that program OP and OC pesticides or metabolites were evaluated in the laboratory at the low ppb range with acephate and methyl parathion detection at farmworker camps In this program we will fabricate an innovative SERS sensing element for the detection of triazine pesticides such as atrazine simazine and cyromazine Sensors will be optimized by an azide loading to improve the electron density and yield strong hydrogen bonding with the triazine amine groups This novel sensor is expected to detect triazines in concentrations of ppb or less and withstand the temperature and humidity conditions encountered by farmworkers The new sensor can be easily combined with our previous sensor to measure andgt pesticides or metabolites at a fraction of the cost of current analytical laboratory methods thus providing the NIH particularly the NIEHS Exposure Biology program with a large data set on the daily exposure ingestion of pesticides This data will allow epidemiological studies and predictions of long term health outcomes Core technology concepts have been demonstrated A previous program demonstrated organochlorine and organophosphate pesticides can be detected down as low as ppt EIC Laboratories has demonstrated in preliminary studies that an azide coated SERS sensor is several orders of magnitude more sensitive to triazines than previous sensors The Phase I program is designed to demonstrate detection of triazine pesticides and metabolites at the ppb level show an extended field lifetime and an increased sensitivity for direct readings of triazine pesticide metabolites PUBLIC HEALTH RELEVANCE This SBIR proposal develops a field analysis protocol for a novel Surface enhanced Raman sensor for triazine pesticides broadleaf weed killers directly or as metabolites in the urine of high risk populations such as farmworkers The sensor can provide timely results at significantly lower cost than other current protocols allowing more sampling of at risk populations and creating a database for epidemiological studies and health outcome predictions This sensor coupled at negligible cost to an already developed sensor will detect andgt pesticides metabolites and report results to the farmworkers within h at andlt the cost of sending samples to an analytical laboratory that can have analysis lag times of andgt months

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