KEU-PK


Price: On request
In Stock

Domains: cell culture non–adherent cells

This Experiment Unit is a device capable of performing cell culture of non–adherent cells (i.e. cells that grow in suspension) in microgravity.


The KEU-PK Experiment Unit is a device capable of performing cell culture of non–adherent cells (i.e. cells that grow in suspension) in microgravity. It is equipped with reservoirs for chemicals (culture medium, fixatives) and a culture chamber allowing cell growth in suspension. The scientific protocol is operated manually by the astronaut. At the end of the experiment the KEU-PK Experiment Unit can be stowed at controlled temperatures, down to -80°C. After stowage and re-entry on Earth, cell cultures can be analyzed with molecular biology-based approaches for genomic, transcriptomic and proteomic studies or cytofluorimetry.

  • Fluidic systems: 4
  • Fluidic actuators: 1 each fluidic system (4 in total)
  • Fluidic actuators type: PISTONS
  • Fluidic reservoirs: 3 each fluidic system (12 in total)
  • Culture chambers: 1 each fluidic system (4 in total)
  • Levels of Containment (LoC): 2
  • Fluidic System Volume: ask for information
  • Automatic control: NO
  • On-Board Electronic Controller: NO
  • Experiment Unit size: ≈ 80x39x19 mm
  • Experiment Unit mass: ≈ 110 grams (fully assembled)
  • Fits into: KIC-SLC (1 LoC)
  • Compatible Controller: Not Applicable

So far, the KEU-PK Experiment Unit has been used to study cell growth on human monocytes and T-Cells, Saccharomyces cerevisiae and Saccharomyces bayanus.

Each KEU-PK Experiment Unit (EU) is made of a semi-crystalline thermoplastic polymer with excellent mechanical and chemical resistance properties, biologically inert. Cross contamination among the fluids chambers are avoided due to proper sealing gaskets. The EU itself provides two Levels of Containment (LoC) that is increased to three by using KIC-SLC containers class. The mission required actions on the samples are manually performed by one crew member. The HW can be made fully automatic with some modifications.

On the whole, the actions performed by the fluidic system are led by manual actuators acting on plungers. Two box shaped tools with four functional projections are used to act simultaneously on the four pistons performing manual activation and manual fixation. Each of the tools acts on the same pistons but can operate solely the activator or the fixative injection. Such mechanism releases the pistons inward the hardware body displacing the fluids (Activator or Fixative) contained into the chemicals reservoirs (Activator or Fixative reservoir) towards the Culture Chamber (CC). Each CC is set on an air chamber which provides an expandable volume to allow fluid injections (see figures below).



Qualified for:
Manned Flight Carrier (Soyuz – STS) and Manned Flights – Use on ISS

  • 2007 PKINASE PI: Millie Hughes-Fulford (NCIRE – University of California)
  • 2014 NIH-1A PI: Millie Hughes-Fulford (NCIRE – University of California)
  • 2015 T-CELL PI: Millie Hughes-Fulford (NCIRE – University of California)

Summary


Platform

International Space Station

Hardware

KEU-PK

Price estimation

On request

Timeframe estimation

On request