Brighton, MA, United States
Brighton, MA, United States

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Grant
Agency: Department of Agriculture | Branch: | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 99.87K | Year: 2015

Wildland fires cost billions of dollars a year in the US, threatening homes, lives, and valuable natural resources. Large amounts of chemical additives, including those in water enhancers, foam fire suppressants, and long-term retardants are used in battling wildland fires to slow the spread of the fire and enable firefighters to work safely on the ground. Millions of gallons of water and hundreds of thousands of gallons of fire retardant can be used in one wildland fire. Some of the chemicals used can cause significant negative downstream environmental effects, such as algae blooms and toxicity to fish and other aquatic life. Nano Terra has developed water-soluble ammonium-free phosphate-based fire retardants and silicone-phosphate surfactants. Our preliminary lab tests show these formulations significantly improve fire extinguishing performance of an aqueous formulation. Nano Terra will optimize these additives for use as long-term fire retardants for applications in aerial firefighting. The focus of this effort is to develop non-toxic, ammonium-free formulations for the management of wildland fires, especially in aerial firefighting applications. The new water-based formulations will protect our precious forest resources without using or releasing toxic chemicals, even upon burningthat can pollute the environment and cause health issues. In addition, these formulations also could be used for fire protection in airplanes, buses, trains, airports, and fuel stations.


Grant
Agency: Department of Defense | Branch: Army | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 96.12K | Year: 2014

Nano Terra, Inc. and the Harvard Stem Cell Institute propose to develop a novel nerve grafting system that will support intrinsic neuronal repair (injuries 3 cm). The creation of an implantable device or devices utilizing a novel scaffold provides an opportunity to utilize a biocompatible material that can easily be manufactured to desired structural and mechanical specifications, i.e., fiber diameter (nano to microscale), mechanical strength (flexibility and tensile), pore size and continuity. In addition, the scaffold can be easily derivatized utilizing established surface chemistry methodologies (attachment of desired drugs, proteins and peptides in patterns or gradients) to promote and enhance cell specific adhesion, proliferation, migration and differentiation for both neuronal and non-neuronal supporting cells. Furthermore, the scaffold itself can be modified to provide the varying rates of degradation necessary to support tissue repair and engineering efforts focused on peripheral nerve injury.


Grant
Agency: Department of Defense | Branch: Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase II | Award Amount: 1.50M | Year: 2014

The overall objective of this program is to develop a practical process for the production of large crystals of BaTiO3, PZT, or other commercially interesting material via solid phase consolidation of nanoscale powders. To accomplish this goal three key challenges were addressed: 1) a facile synthetic procedure for generating micron-scale seed crystals, 2) a process for patterning seed crystals with a high degree of control over their crystallographic orientation, and 3) a solid phase consolidation procedure that yields high quality crystals. Phase I of this project focused on the synthesis and patterning of seed crystals, with demonstration of patterning and consolidation of PZT on the order of several mm. In Phase II, new seed crystals of alternative materials (i.e. optical, thermoelectric, or ferroelectric crystals) will be made and patterned to demonstrate the general nature of this approach for growing large crystals. In addition, anisotropic seed crystals will be fabricated to yield higher quality seed crystal arrays. In both cases, the seed crystal arrays will be consolidated into single crystals with sizes >1mm. Methods for consolidation will be determined to yield high quality single crystalline materials that are of significant commercial interest.


Patent
Nano Terra, Inc | Date: 2014-10-27

The present invention is directed to adhesive systems and methods of making and using such systems. Exemplary adhesive systems comprise protrusions and/or grooves that can interleave to form a reversible adhesive interaction.


Grant
Agency: Department of Defense | Branch: Navy | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 149.93K | Year: 2015

Nano Terra will work to develop 3D printing technologies for textiles using fused deposition modeling (FDM). Recent advances in FDM technology have yielded a wide range of new materials and open source platforms have spurred rapid innovation and expanded the art of the possible. Nano Terra will capitalize on these advances and work to develop new materials and processes that will enable direct printing of textiles and garments.


Grant
Agency: Department of Defense | Branch: Air Force | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 149.91K | Year: 2014

ABSTRACT: Nano Terra (NT) proposes to partner with Prof. Howard Katz (Johns Hopkins), a leader in the field of organic electronics, to fabricate and validate OFET biosensors made by scalable manufacturing processes. Prof. Katz has recently published work that definitively demonstrates the mechanism of detection of ChemFET-type biosensors and the use of these devices in the detection of Glial Fibrillary Acidic Protein (GFAP), a traumatic brain injury biomarker. Nano Terra will leverage its proprietary soft lithographic techniques and its expertise in the design and implementation of roll-to-roll manufacturing processes to scale up the fabrication of OFET-based biosensors for GFAP as a proof-of-principle for Phase I. In Phase I, the NT/JHU team will fabricate GFAP biosensors on flexible PET substrates in a roll-to-roll process and generate device statistics, demonstrating stable sensor performance over many cycles. The data will be validated with ELISA and used to direct an initial optimization of the biosensors and manufacturing process to transition to Phase II. BENEFIT: Large-scale production of biosensors will establish a new market in medical diagnostics and provide new tools for the next generation of advanced consumer products. The industrial development of an OFET technology will help bridge the gap between industry and academic efforts to accelerate organic electronics development.


Grant
Agency: Department of Agriculture | Branch: | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase II | Award Amount: 560.50K | Year: 2016

Wildfires, based on 5-year average annual acres burned, have more than doubled over the last 30 years and total fire suppression costs have increased nearly an order of magnitude over the same period (i.e. <$300M in 1985 to over $2B in 2015).1 The 2015 fire season, exacerbated by prolonged drought in the Western United States, resulted in ~10 million acres burned by wildfires across the US. Approximately 3.5 million acres of that total were in WA, ID, OR, and CA - regions that contain many waterways with Endangered Species Act (ESA) protected species.2 With the increase in wildfires comes an increase in fire suppression efforts, which in many cases includes the use aerial drops of flame retardant mixtures including FR salts like diammonium phosphate, viscosity modifiers, and corrosion inhibitors.3 These aerial drops are extremely effective tools for fighting fires, however, currently approved flame retardant chemistries are known to be toxic to aquatic species (for example the LD-50 for rainbow trout exposed to diammonium phosphate, a common flame retardant, is only 60-80 mg/L).4With the increased prevalence of wildfires in sensitive and ESA protected habitats, and particularly those that are threatening urban and suburban areas put fire fighters in difficult situations where the use of toxic flame retardants present varying environmental risks, however, not utilizing aerial flame retardant drops may result is significant loss of property and, potentially, lives. A Harvard University study predicts that wildfires will burn longer, wider, and create more smoke by the year 2050,5 which is consistent with the trends of the past 30 years. What is needed are effective flame retardant chemistries with significantly reduced environmental risks that can still provide wildfire fighters with effective management tools.Nano Terra demonstrated success in Phase I by developing a novel class of ammonium-freefire retardantchemicals that have a much lower toxicity to fish without compromising the FR performance. The planned work in Phase II will optimize the fire retardant formulation, validate the chemistry by being certified by the Forest Service, and address scale-up and manufacturability of the fire retardant to be cost-competitive with current commercial products.References:1. Fire Info https://www.nifc.gov/fireInfo/fireInfo_statistics.html Suppression Costs(1985-2015).2. ESA Maps For example please see http://www.oregon.gov/owrd/law/docs/iwrs/map_booklet.pdf . The map on page 13 "Fed-eral or State Listed Sensitive, Threatened or Endangered Fish Species in Oregon" shows that ~75% or more of the land in Oregon State is inhabited by species that are listed as either sensitive, threatened, or endangered under the ESA.3. Giménez, A.; Pastor, E.; Zárate, L.; Planas, E.; Arnaldos, J. "Long-term forest fire retardants: A review of quality, effectiveness, application and environmental considerations," International Journal of Wildland Fire 2004, 13 (1), 1-15.4. Adams, R.; Simmons, D. "Ecological effects of fire fighting foams and retardants: a summary," Australian Forestry 1999, 62 (4), 307-314.5. Yue, X.; Mickley, L. J.; Logan, J. A.; Kaplan, J. O. "Ensemble projections of wildfire activity and carbonaceous aerosol concentrations over the western United States in the mid-21st century," Atmospheric Environment 2013, 77, 767-780.


Grant
Agency: Department of Defense | Branch: Army | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 99.94K | Year: 2015

Traveling wave electrophoresis (TWE) has the potential to become a powerful chromatographic tool for investigating the chemical (and even microbial) quality of reclaimed water. Unfortunately, due to the limitations of current TWE device designs and lack of a fieldable platform for analysis, the technology is restricted to low-throughput research-based applications. Manufacturability challenges with the current TWE device include (1) imprecise spacing between top and bottom electrodes, (2) poor sealing, and (3) a lack of a unified cartridge-style format (for both ease of sample injection and attachment to electrical contacts). The objective of this study is to design and manufacture TWE devices with substantial improvements over current devices including lower cost, higher reproducibility, comparable or better precision, and ease-of-use. Nano Terra will design and manufacture devices fitting these requirements by adapting recent advances in both passive microfluidic control (i.e., degassed-driven flow) and plastic-based microfluidics to TWE. The design will be a cartridge-style format with standardized electrical contacts, may be disposable, and come prepackaged for convenience. Alterations of the channel and electrode designs to optimize device performance or multiplexing will be straightforward and relatively inexpensive.


Grant
Agency: Department of Defense | Branch: Army | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase II | Award Amount: 999.81K | Year: 2015

Nano Terra, Inc. and the Harvard Stem Cell Institute propose to develop a novel nerve grafting system that will support intrinsic neuronal repair (injuries 3 cm). The creation of an implantable device or devices utilizing a novel scaffold provides an opportunity to utilize a biocompatible material that can easily be manufactured to desired structural and mechanical specifications, i.e., fiber diameter (nano to microscale), mechanical strength (flexibility and tensile), pore size and continuity. In addition, the scaffold can be easily derivatized utilizing established surface chemistry methodologies (attachment of desired drugs, proteins and peptides in patterns or gradients) to promote and enhance cell specific adhesion, proliferation, migration and differentiation for both neuronal and non-neuronal supporting cells. Furthermore, the scaffold itself can be modified to provide the varying rates of degradation necessary to support tissue repair and engineering efforts focused on peripheral nerve injury.


Grant
Agency: Department of Defense | Branch: Air Force | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase II | Award Amount: 749.88K | Year: 2015

ABSTRACT: The Air Force has the goal of monitoring the concentration of stress biomarkers in Airmen over a 72-hour period via OFET biosensors. Nano Terra, Inc. and Prof. Howard Katz at Johns Hopkins University successfully demonstrated the fabrication of two model biosensor systems, Biotin/Steptavidin and Glial Fibillary Acidic Protein/Anti-GFAP in Phase I. Our team demonstrated maximum biosensor current change responses of up to 75%. Our team used the soft lithographic printing methods micro-contact printing to pattern gold gate electrodes on Mylar and micro-contact transfer printing to print polymer dielectrics and P3HT semiconducting polymer. In Phase II, our team will demonstrate a large-scale manufacturing process of OFET biosensors with good reliability and performance. The OFET biosensors will be functionalized to detect stress-indicative biomarkers, including Neuropeptide Y, Orexin A, interleukin 6, and Cortisol, at physiologically-relevant levels. BENEFIT: Large-scale production of biosensors will establish a new market in medical diagnostics and provide new tools for the next generation of advanced consumer products. The industrial development of an OFET technology will help bridge the gap between industry and academic efforts to accelerate organic electronics development.

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