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Title: “Standoff Biofinder” for Fast, Noncontact, Nondestructive, Large-Area Detection of Biological Materials for Planetary Exploration

In this paper, we developed a prototype instrument called the Standoff Biofinder, which can quickly locate biological material in a 500 cm 2 area from a 2 m standoff distance with a detection time of 0.1 s. All biogenic materials give strong fluorescence signals when excited with UV and visible lasers. In addition, the luminescence decay time of biogenic compounds is much shorter (<100 ns) than the micro- to millisecond decay time of transition metal ions and rare-earth ions in minerals and rocks. The Standoff Biofinder takes advantage of the short lifetime of biofluorescent materials to obtain real-time fluorescence images that show the locations of biological materials among luminescent minerals in a geological context. The Standoff Biofinder instrument will be useful for locating biological material during future NASA rover, lander, and crewed missions. Additionally, the instrument can be used for nondestructive detection of biological materials in unique samples, such as those obtained by sample return missions from the outer planets and asteroids. Finally, the Standoff Biofinder also has the capacity to detect microbes and bacteria on space instruments for planetary protection purposes.
 [1] ;  [1] ;  [1] ;  [2] ;  [3] ;  [1] ;  [1] ;  [1] ;  [4] ;  [3] ;  [3]
  1. Univ. of Hawaii, Honolulu, HI (United States). Hawaii Inst. of Geophysics and Planetology
  2. NASA Ames Research Center (ARC), Moffett Field, Mountain View, CA (United States)
  3. Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States)
  4. NASA Langley Research Center, Hampton, VA (United States)
Publication Date:
Report Number(s):
Journal ID: ISSN 1531-1074
Grant/Contract Number:
AC52-06NA25396; NNX13AM98A
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 16; Journal Issue: 9; Journal ID: ISSN 1531-1074
Mary Ann Liebert, Inc.
Research Org:
Univ. of Hawaii, Honolulu, HI (United States); Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE; National Aeronautic and Space Administration (NASA)
Contributing Orgs:
NASA Ames Research Center (ARC), Moffett Field, Mountain View, CA (United States); NASA Langley Research Center, Hampton, VA (United States)
Country of Publication:
United States
59 BASIC BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES; Standoff Biofinder; Luminescence; Time-resolved fluorescence; Biofluorescence; Planetary exploration; Planetary protection; Noncontact nondestructive biodetection
OSTI Identifier: