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16 Phase I Selections from the 11.1 Solicitation

(In Topic Number Order)
Parabon NanoLabs, Inc.
11260 Roger Bacon Drive Suite 406
Reston, VA 20190
Phone:
PI:
Topic#:
(703) 689-9689
Steven Armentrout
OSD11-H01      Awarded: 9/26/2011
Title:A Nano-pharmaceutical Platform for Creating Artificial Vaccines
Abstract:In this project, Parabon NanoLabs (PNL) will demonstrate the feasibility of extending its Essemblix(tm) Drug Development Platform, a combination of computer-aided design (CAD) software and DNA nano-fabrication technology, to produce Essemblix-V, a platform for creating artificial vaccines from a predefined set of “building block molecules” assembled on DNA origami. Given an epitope for a potential biothreat agent, Essemblix-V will allow the production of artificial epitopes (hereafter “mimotopes”) that can mimic the original epitope sufficiently to bind target antibodies with high affinity. Additionally, Essemblix-V will allow mimotopes to be arranged on origami in complex presentation patterns known to elicit rapid and potent immune response via T cell-independent activation. As a proof of concept, PNL will demonstrate the feasibility of (i) enhancing its existing inSequio(tm) CAD software to support the design of mimotopes with building block molecules; and (ii) modulating, through rational design, the charge distribution and hydrophobicity of specific mimotopes, since these attributes can affect conformation and stability. Prototype mimotopes will be created for /Borrelia burgdorferi/ and ricin toxin and their affinity to specific monoclonal antibodies will be demonstrated via ELISA assay. In Phase 2, artificial vaccines will be created for theses targets and evaluated in a murine model.

Aptima, Inc.
12 Gill Street Suite 1400
Woburn, MA 01801
Phone:
PI:
Topic#:
(781) 496-2476
Robert McCormack
OSD11-H02      Awarded: 9/2/2011
Title:Collaborative Automation Reliably Remediating Erroneous Conclusion Threats (CARRECT)
Abstract:Epidemiologists and public health officers face considerable challenges in optimizing the efficacy of their analyses as they are susceptible to bias from missing data, confounding variables, and selecting the appropriate statistical models. Analysts can benefit from assistance in mitigating these issues as possessing the expertise to consider the multitude tests, corrections, and selection rules is extremely burdensome. To embed an expert system in analysts’ workflow, Aptima proposes Collaborative Automation Reliably Remediating Erroneous Conclusion Threats (CARRECT) to support statistical bias reduction and improve analyses and decision making. The system will engage the user in a collaborative process in which the technology is transparent to the user. An intuitive data wizard will guide the user through analysis processes by analyzing key features of a given dataset, as well as prompt the user to input additional substantive knowledge to improve the handling of imperfect datasets and the selection of the most appropriate algorithms and models. Reduced bias in the analysis fosters a more veridical assessment for decision makers.

Digital System, Inc
2 Wisconsin Circle, Suite 700
Chevy Chase, MD 20815
Phone:
PI:
Topic#:
(877) 531-7701
Harrey Ji
OSD11-H02      Awarded: 9/30/2011
Title:Statistical Model Development in Epidemiological Research
Abstract:Utilizing all SAS’s statistical and data manipulation power; Using SAS to interface with data sources -- Excel, Access, Oracle, DBII, Teradata, CSV, directly entered data; Building point and click to select data, read into application, save to output. Applying basic statistical model -- logistic, general linear, conditional logistic, ANOVA, MANCOVA, repeated measurements, survival/Poisson analysis , descriptive analysis.; Approaching complex statistical methods -- Propensity score (applied via matching, stratification, regression adjustment), instrumental variables, doubly robust estimation, local control to handle bias correction. For missing values, applying Baseline Observation Carried Forward, Last Observation Carried Forward, Completer’s Analysis, Multiple Imputation using MCMC, Multi-Imputation under MAR (Missing at Random) and MCAR (Missing Completely at Random) missing mechanisms in nonparametric regression, Mixed Model Repeated Measures, Marginal Structural Model with Inverse Probability of Treatment Weighting. To handle correlated longitudinal data, using innovative models such as mixed Model with appropriate variance-covariance structure to identify and correct the co-linearity; Applying small-area estimation techniques including synthetic method, spatial smoothing, regression to combine small area data. Developing software with features of Speed, flexibility, intuitive and easy; Enabling interact with operating system, and host system application such as SAS, SPSS, S-PLUS, STATA, R, JMP, JAVA, C++, SQL, VB, VBA, HTML.

SED Technology LLC
5410 Colchester Meadow Lane
Fairfax, VA 22030
Phone:
PI:
Topic#:
(703) 278-9322
Francine J. Prokoski
OSD11-H03      Awarded: 8/10/2011
Title:Non-Radiological Imaging Devices for Combat Casualty Care Associated with Burn
Abstract:SED Technology LLC is proposing an existing concept of determining burn area and depth based on extensive previous work involving infrared technology. The proposed concept involves the use of all capabilities associated with 2D and 3D Infrared that have been developed by Dr. Francine Prokoski in the areas of Biometrics, Forensics and Health Care applications. The concept could eventually provide a non-contact capability of medical personnel to images of burns and use those images to determine both area and depth. These images could be taken over time to determine the extent of the burn depth after hours or days and be able to accurately align subsequent images to the original images. To accomplish this SBIR Phase I, Dr. Prokoski will serve as the principal investigator and be assisted by a medical imaging expert and system engineer, medical burn consultants from the Washington Hospital Burn Center and other SED personnel as needed.

Farus, LLC
2416 Sand Hill Rd
Menlo Park, CA 94025
Phone:
PI:
Topic#:
(310) 346-4781
Rahul Singh
OSD11-H03      Awarded: 8/23/2011
Title:Non-Radiological Imaging Devices for Combat Casualty Care Associated with Burn
Abstract:Farus, LLC proposes to develop a novel burn assessment tool based upon THz imaging that will be aid in determining severity and boundaries. THz is ideally suited to burn wound imaging because it is extremely sensitive to water, robust to scattering, non-ionizing, and does not require contrast agents. A complete THz imaging system developed by a UCLA research team successfully scanned skin burns on ex vivo porcine and in vivo rat models, producing high resolution images. The results of these studies are highly encouraging and demonstrate an ability to accurately measure burn severity and the progression of the local inflammatory response over time. If these results could be translated to the clinical environment, treatment of burn injuries may potentially improve and act as means to rapidly quantify the severity of burn injuries. While promising, the UCLA system has mostly been limited to imaging of near-planar surfaces and is not commercially viable.. Farus proposes to leverage the UCLA work to fully develop an alpha prototype for imaging burns using THz. The purpose of this phase I SBIR is to produce a complete and optimized system design to be built and used in Phase II for large animal and human trials.

UtopiaCompression, Corporation
11150 W. Olympic Blvd. Suite 820
Los Angeles, CA 90064
Phone:
PI:
Topic#:
(310) 473-1500
Priya Ganapathy
OSD11-H03      Awarded: 7/18/2011
Title:MIS-BI: Multimodal Imaging System with decision-support for Burn Injury assessment
Abstract:We propose to develop a swift, non-contact imaging-based solution to objectively assess variable depths of injury in burned soldiers while suggesting appropriate standardized treatment plans. Currently, determination of burn depth and healing outcomes has been limited to subjective assessment or a single modality, e.g., laser Doppler imaging. Such measures have proven less than ideal. Recent developments in other non-contact technologies such as ultrasound, optical coherence tomography and pulse speckle imaging offer the promise that an intelligent fusion of information across these modalities can improve visualization of areas within burned skin thereby increasing the sensitivity of the diagnosis. As Phase I deliverables, we propose to i) analyze each of these individual modalities and determine the set of operating parameters that can provide optimum accuracy across a range of partial injury and full thickness burns and their subsequent healing in the pig model, ii) integrate these modalities to visualize the different layers within the skin (with and without burns) and automatically compute the burn depth and iii) develop a decision-support system to classify the burn injury and validate the results through immonuohistochemical analysis. Our solution will be applicable in ambulatory scenarios and burn units for warfighters as well as the civilian population.

Physical Sciences Inc.
20 New England Business Center
Andover, MA 01810
Phone:
PI:
Topic#:
(978) 689-0003
Nicusor Iftimia
OSD11-H03      Awarded: 8/15/2011
Title:Combined Confocal Microscopy-Polarization Sensitive Optical Coherence Tomography Approach for Burn Assessment
Abstract:Physical Sciences, Inc. (PSI), in collaboration with Lucid, Inc. proposes to investigate combined reflectance confocal microscopy-polarization sensitive optical coherence tomography (RCM-PSOCT) for in vivo diagnosis of skin burns. While RCM provides en face images with nuclear-level resolution in superficial skin, to depths of about 200 µm, OCT provides cross-sectional images with structural-level resolution in the deeper skin layers, to depths of at least 1.5 mm. Furthermore, PSOCT measures skin birefringence, and thus accurately differentiates between the dermal and epidermal skin layers. Therefore, the complementary capabilities of these two optical technologies may offer a clinically comprehensive set of parameters for more reliable diagnosis of burn lesions. In Phase I we propose to develop a bench-top instrument that will combine RCM and PSOCT within the same optical layout. Preliminary testing of this instrument will be performed on tissue-like phantoms and on the normal skin of several investigator-volunteers. Based on Phase I conclusions, this instrument will be improved, and a clinical prototype will be built and tested in a clinical setting on a large number of normal and skin burn patients at Shriners Hospital, Boston during the Phase II study.

Agiltron Corporation
15 Cabot Road
Woburn, MA 01801
Phone:
PI:
Topic#:
(781) 935-1200
Jing Ma
OSD11-H03      Awarded: 8/19/2011
Title:Large depth, ultrahigh resolution, ultrahigh speed PS-OCT for burn assessment
Abstract:Polarization-sensitive optical coherence tomography (PS-OCT) is an imaging modality used to assess burn wound by imaging the collagen of the human skin. Agiltron propose an ultrahigh speed, ultrahigh resolution, and deep depth PS-OCT system using novel tunable laser technology. The PS-OCT imager will feature a portable design with a turn-key OCT engine and a fiber-guided handheld sample scanner. The ultrahigh resolution will enable imaging differentiation of epidermis and dermis at different skin locations with a dramatic variety of epidermis thickness. The ultrahigh speed will eliminate imaging motion artifacts and facilitate real-time imaging. The portable system enables on-site battlefield diagnosis. The well-matched depth will enable assessments of burn depth, particularly for partial-thickness burn. In particular, our system will implement polarization sensitivity for evaluation of collagen health as the specific burn biomarker. Objective and quantitative analysis will be performed by measurements of the birefringence phase retardation slope. The technical approach will be proven in Phase I through the system design and experimental testing. Completed PS-OCT system will be produced in Phase II for delivery to OSD.

Modulated Imaging Inc
1002 Health Sciences Rd
Irvine, CA 92612
Phone:
PI:
Topic#:
(949) 824-8367
David Cuccia
OSD11-H03      Awarded: 8/10/2011
Title:Non-Radiological Imaging Devices for Combat Casualty Care Associated with Burn
Abstract:Accurate assessment of burn size, depth and the compromise of normal tissue physiology, as well as the tracking of wound response, is essential for successful treatment of burns and one of the major problems that face clinicians and surgeons. The primary method of burn wound assessment is subjective clinical evaluation which is neither accurate nor consistent between care givers. For this proposed effort, Modulated Imaging Inc. will evaluate our clinically deployable advanced camera system to perform burn depth analysis. This non- contact, wide field-of-view approach will ultimately provide quantitative determination of the optical absorption and scattering properties of burned skin as a function of depth and provide quantitative, color-coded maps of tissue physiology including tissue blood volume, oxy- /deoxyhemoglobin and water concentration. These data products should provide the clinician with a real-time, accurate assessment of burn depth and tissue viability. Under this proposed Phase I effort, MI will document the requirements of a burn analysis system for practical use, perform theoretical modeling of the optical properties of layered tissues, conduct imaging analysis on tissue-simulating optical phantoms, and perform testing on burned ex-vivo porcine skin.

Oceanit Laboratories, Inc.
Oceanit Center 828 Fort Street Mall, Suite 600
Honolulu, HI 96813
Phone:
PI:
Topic#:
(808) 531-3017
Josh Miyagishima
OSD11-H03      Awarded: 7/11/2011
Title:Non-Radiological Imaging Devices for Combat Casualty Care Associated with Burn
Abstract:Warfighters and civilians in a warzone can sustain burn damage through numerous mechanisms. Although very shallow and deep burns are easily identified by an experienced burn surgeon, there exists a critical need for next generation imaging technology to predict burn depth and boundaries of partial thickness burns. Proper diagnosis can prevent prolonged procedures, unnecessary surgery and the risk of complications from infection. Oceanit proposes a novel “Burn Assessment Depth Detection” system to improve accuracy and detection of edema, changes in microvascular perfusion, and tissue spectral signatures as a result of burn injury. These parameters indicate the depth of injury and whether it will heal on its own, or require debridement and surgery. Drawing on several proprietary advances in image processing and battlefield treatment of intracranial hemorrhage we will prototype a dual-mode imaging system for non-invasive and non contact imaging of burn injury and test system performance characteristics.

Charles River Analytics Inc.
625 Mount Auburn Street
Cambridge, MA 02138
Phone:
PI:
Topic#:
(617) 491-3474
James Niehaus
OSD11-H04      Awarded: 8/31/2011
Title:Helping Amputees though Virtual Environments (HAVEN)
Abstract:Peer support for Warfighters who have suffered traumatic amputation can significantly improve recovery. While peer support is readily available in military treatment facilities (MTFs), veterans with these injuries must continue recovery after leaving the MTF. Unfortunately, veterans in remote areas may not have reasonable access to a MTF or a veterans’ affairs medical center (VAMC) where in-person peer support can be obtained, and this lack of peer support may hamper their recovery and reintegration into society. A virtual peer support environment (VPSE) is a significant part of the solution to enhancing the recovery of our veterans. However, to be effective, the VPSE must: (1) be immersive and engaging; (2) enable health care provider and patient interaction; and (3) promote natural, non-verbal communication. To address these needs, we propose to design and demonstrate the feasibility of helping amputees through virtual environments (HAVEN) for the Amputee Virtual Environment Support Space (AVESS), which: (1) supports immersion through artificial intelligence (AI)-controlled virtual characters that promote social immersion, interactive narrative and drama management techniques that promote narrative immersion, and principles from popular video games that promote game immersion; (2) supports non- verbal communication through gesture recognition; and (3) supports health care provider and patient interaction through structured interactions with the virtual characters.

Physical Optics Corporation
Electro-Optics Systems Division 20600 Gramercy Place, Bldg. 100
Torrance, CA 90501
Phone:
PI:
Topic#:
(310) 320-3088
Oleg Galkin
OSD11-H04      Awarded: 8/15/2011
Title:Enhanced Immersion Virtual Support System
Abstract:To address the OSD-DHP need to enhance the user experience in the virtual environment for rehabilitating and supporting wounded veterans, Physical Optics Corporation (POC) proposes to develop a new Enhanced Immersion Virtual Support (EIViS) system. The proposed EIViS system is based on novel integration of real-time facial, head, and body tracking and morphing software and a new wearable haptic belt interface. Novel integration of face, head, and body tracking and user-to-avatar morphing will add nonverbal communication channels; the new haptic interface will provide remote tactile feedback and monitor vital signs during physical exercise and critical physical therapy. As a result, the EIViS system significantly increases the immersive experience, provides new means for nonverbal communication, and introduces new tools for remote interaction between patient and physical therapist, which directly addresses the requirements of the Amputee Virtual Environment Support Space (AVESS) system. In Phase I, POC will identify and demonstrate the feasibility of technologies to improve nonverbal communication, immersive experience, and patient-therapist interaction by designing system architecture, developing software modules, and fabricating a proof-of-concept prototype. In Phase II, POC plans to develop a functional prototype, validate the immersive technology, and provide a plan for practical deployment of the proposed technology.

Cybernet Systems Corporation
727 Airport Boulevard
Ann Arbor, MI 48108
Phone:
PI:
Topic#:
(734) 668-2567
Charles Cohen
OSD11-H04      Awarded: 8/8/2011
Title:Enhancing the User’s Experience in an Amputee Virtual Environment Support Space
Abstract:The major goal of this project is to develop an integrated system for enhancing a war fighter’s experience in an Amputee Virtual Environment Support Space. The concept demonstration delivered to the sponsor at the conclusion of this Phase-I will show the sponsor that we have developed techniques for innovatively connecting COTS products and advanced behavior recognition techniques to enable non-verbal communication, to advance immersion into the environment, and to support effective interaction the physical therapist. A feasibility study will be delivered. These techniques will then be refined and integrated into a pre-production prototype system in Phase-II. During the Phase I effort we will: (1) Identify the appropriate technology to improve communications in the world through the use of COTS sensing systems such as the Kinect, speech recognition software, and gesture recognition software. (2) Identify the appropriate technology to allow for a more immersive experience. (3) Identify the appropriate technology to allow for Physical Therapist and Patient interaction in the virtual world. (4) Determine technical feasibility of the proposed technology through a vertical slice demonstration of the system during the Phase I effort. (5) Develop an initial concept design and determine/model key elements.

AnthroTronix, Inc.
8737 Colesville Rd, L203
Silver Spring, MD 20910
Phone:
PI:
Topic#:
(301) 495-0770
Corinna Lathan
OSD11-H04      Awarded: 9/1/2011
Title:Advancing Social and Assistive Support in Virtual Worlds for Injured Veterans
Abstract:Our Phase 1 objective is to identify appropriate technologies that can improve communication and engagement in the Second Life (SL) virtual world (VW), and to determine new methods that allow for enhanced physical therapist and patient interaction in-world. There is a growing need for third party VW development targeted at specific groups, especially in health care domains, which tend to be more demanding than purely social or entertainment activities. VWs such as SL already have much of the basic architecture needed to create innovative solutions. They need a focused approach to determine which of the available tools can be adapted to better health offerings. In Phase 1 we will assess technologies for inclusion in the Second Life AVESS environment with a focus on enhancing communication, immersion, physical therapy and data monitoring. In addition we will determine the technical feasibility of implementing the proposed technology and develop an initial concept design and model key elements for inclusion within Second Life along with demo success criteria.

Hstar Technologies
82 Guggins Lane
Boxborough, MA 01719
Phone:
PI:
Topic#:
(978) 239-3203
John Hu
OSD11-H04      Awarded: 7/18/2011
Title:A Robotic Avatar Interactive Console Enhancing AVESS User Interface Capacity
Abstract:The current AVESS has targeted to creating fundamental virtual world using tools of Second Life and its user interface is limited to 2D input devices. A wide spectrum of interaction will be needed to enhance this AVESS system to further improve the user’s virtual presence with non-verbal interface such as haptic, visual, kinematic and emotional interaction. Hstar proposes a robotic avatar interactive console (RAIC) system for enhancing AVESS user interface capacity. The proposed RAIC will be archived by integrating robotic haptic interaction devices, visual capture and 3D head-mount display in virtual environment, and kinematic motion and posture capture via wearable sensing devices. This system will: 1) provides 3D amputee-avatar haptic interface, 2) supports 3D immersive visual capture and display in AVESS environment, 3) provides remote patient monitoring and physical accessibility to therapist, 4) provides a remote platform for necessary at-home therapy procedures, and 5) supports kinematic capture of patient motion and body postures and representing on avatar model. Our primary innovation is a 3D robotic avatar interactive interface console for the AVESS that provides safe haptic, visual, and therapeutic interaction via the creative virtual world for the combat injured amputee patients.

SimWright Inc.
2053 Fountain Professional Court Suite A
Navarre, FL 32566
Phone:
PI:
Topic#:
(850) 939-8707
Dan Matthews
OSD11-H04      Awarded: 8/18/2011
Title:Enhancing the User’s Experience in an Amputee Virtual Environment Support Space
Abstract:One of the most significant issues facing amputees leaving rehabilitation units is the loss of connectivity with peers and caregivers. The new Amputee Virtual Environment Support Space (AVESS) being constructed within Second Life is a great resource enabling social networking between returning amputees and caregivers. Emerging haptic devices and sensors could greatly increase the immersive nature of the virtual world and improve non verbal cues capturing emotions, facial features and gestures using non invasive brain control interfaces. In addition the ubiquitous use of new low cost MEMs devices and sensors could enable Occupational and Physical therapists to view range of motion, kinematic and gait mechanics data in real-time monitoring virtual activities. Integrating these emerging haptic devices and sensors could great improve the social connectivity and well being of patients while providing therapists with quantitative assessment of progress even in remote locations. Advanced training regiments could conceivable be performed within virtual games and sport events in future implementations. The team combines expertise in real-time sensor integration, 3D visualization, software development, physical therapy for prosthetic users, occupational therapy and robotics based rehabilitation.