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  • Raydiance Teams with NASA
Jan 2010
PETALUMA, Calif., Jan. 27, 2010 -- Raydiance Corp., developer of the first commercial-grade ultrafast laser, today announced it has partnered with the Small Spacecraft Div. in the Engineering Directorate at NASA's Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, Calif., to develop advanced microfluidic devices for space-based biological experiments.

Under the terms of a cooperative agreement funded by the Advanced Capabilities Div. in NASA's Exploration Systems Mission Directorate to support a seed fund project within its Innovative Partnerships program, NASA experts in fluidic design will employ Raydiance’s Smart Light ultrafast laser platform to fabricate next-generation microfluidic devices and components. These will be deployed on free-flying nanosatellites, the International Space Station, and in future lunar and planetary research laboratories. Results will advance capabilities for molecular and cellular diagnostics, enable rapid drug discovery and screening, and expand knowledge of the effects of the space environment on biological systems.

“This partnership brings together the powerful and versatile Smart Light ultrafast technology with the world-class microfluidics expertise of the NASA Ames' small spacecraft group,” said Barry Schuler, chairman and CEO of Raydiance. “The capability to athermally ablate very precise features in transparent polymers and glasses, in addition to ceramics, will enable NASA Ames to rapidly fabricate complex and integrated components on a single microfluidics card. This collaborative work will have large implications for both the research and commercial worlds.”

The work at NASA Ames is being led by Dr. Antonio J. Ricco, chief technologist at the Small Satellite Div., and by John Hines, chief technologist in the Engineering Directorate. Tim Booth, vice president of project management, is coordinating Raydiance's efforts.

“We’re very excited about the additional capabilities the Raydiance system gives us to fabricate complex, multilevel microfluidic devices,” Ricco said. “We anticipate these devices will be more reliable, let us add new functionality and be more biocompatible than some other approaches we’ve examined. We should be able to quickly execute design changes as needed to accommodate a wide range of biological and chemical space studies with this new platform.”

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