In Situ Sensors for Life Detection
Lab-on-a-chip innovations capable of analyzing complex organics will integrate our natural and technological world through liquid-based technologies of the future.
As planetary science evolved from the successful observational missions of the 70s, 80s, and 90s, there has been increased emphasis on the surface exploration of nearby accessible planets, resulting in the development and deployment of new physical, chemical, and geological instruments on robotic platforms. The work at MDL is focused on the development of the next generation of miniaturized lab-on-a-chip systems that can perform chemical analyses without needing a human operator during the process. Such technology is essential to NASA’s search for habitable environments, prebiotic chemical syntheses, and extraterrestrial life in the solar system.