Date of Graduation

Spring 2015

Document Type

Honors Research Project

Research Sponsor

Dr. DeVon Griffin, NASA Glenn Research Center

First Reader

Dr. Mary C. Verstraete

Second Reader

Dr. Jim Keszenheimer


The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is currently developing the capabilities needed to send humans to Mars in 2030 for a three year mission. Astronaut health must be monitored monthly during such a lengthy mission. The UA Enterprise Senior Design Team worked to design a reusable, novel blood panel cartridge system to monitor astronaut health and to minimize waste production. Most current cartridges are composed of polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS). PDMS microchannels were fabricated to conduct simple proof of concept experiments for the design of a novel cartridge. To determine an ideal blood cleaning solution, bovine blood will be injected into the microchannels at a fixed flowrate and then cleaned using different reagents. The presence of blood and protein residue will then be assessed using trypan blue staining and fluorescently-tagged bovine serum albumin. In addition, a novel, reusable cartridge schematic was produced and modeled in AutoCAD and MATLAB. This design incorporated an additional inlet to allow for cleaning of the device and a novel streptavidin/biotin enzyme reservoir for reintroduction of fresh enzymes. Miniaturized analytical techniques as well as performance tests for each priority analytical method were incorporated in the final design. The proposed device shows promise for this NASA mission.


Honors project completed as part of Biomedical Engineering (BME) Senior Design II class.