NanoRacks-Protein Crystal Growth-1 (NanoRacks-PCG-1) - 05.13.15

Overview | Description | Applications | Operations | Results | Publications | Imagery

ISS Science for Everyone

Science Objectives for Everyone
NanoRacks-Protein Crystal Growth-1 (NanoRacks-PCG-1) is a proprietary protein crystal growth experiment that utilizes state-of-the-art on-the-ground PCG procedures and hardware.
Science Results for Everyone
NanoRacks-PCG-1 uses commercial, off-the shelf, state-of-the-art way to grow protein crystals in microgravity using small slides known as CrystalCards ™. The slides are launched frozen, thawed on orbit to allow crystal growth, examined while on-orbit, and then returned to Earth. After 70 days on the station, 16 of the 25 cards, or 64 percent, had crystals, compared to 12 of 25 in the ground controls, or 48 percent. More high-quality crystals grew in the microgravity cards than the ground controls as well. These results validate use of the system, and provide new opportunities for large-protein crystal growth that does not grow as well back on Earth.

The following content was provided by Carl W. Carruthers, Jr., Ph.D., and is maintained in a database by the ISS Program Science Office.
Experiment Details

OpNom: NanoRacks Module-19

Principal Investigator(s)
Carl W. Carruthers, Jr., Ph.D., NanoRacks LLC, Webster, TX, United States

Co-Investigator(s)/Collaborator(s)
Information Pending

Developer(s)
NanoRacks LLC, Webster, TX, United States

Sponsoring Space Agency
National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)

Sponsoring Organization
National Laboratory (NL)

Research Benefits
Information Pending

ISS Expedition Duration
September 2012 - September 2013

Expeditions Assigned
33/34,35/36

Previous ISS Missions
Information Pending

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Experiment Description

Research Overview

  • NanoRacks-Protein Crystal Growth-1 (NanoRacks-PCG-1) utilizes different Protein Crystal Growth solutions in small crystal slides to grow protein crystals in microgravity.
  • The slides are launched frozen, thawed on orbit to allow crystal growth, examined while on-orbit and then returned.

Description
NanoRacks-Protein Crystal Growth-1 (NanoRacks-PCG-1) is a proprietary protein crystal growth experiment that utilizes state-of-the-art on-the-ground PCG procedures and hardware.  NanoRacks-PCG-1 uses different PCG solutions in small crystal slides to grow protein crystals in microgravity. The slides are launched frozen, thawed on orbit to allow crystal growth, examined while on-orbit and then returned.

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Applications

Space Applications
The applications of this investigation are proprietary.

Earth Applications
The applications of this investigation are proprietary.

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Operations

Operational Requirements
The protein growth in the Crystal Plates automatically initiates on-orbit when the Plates thaw. At least one analysis session with the Crystal Plates and the NanoRacks Microscope-2 facility is conducted to collect data on crystal growth.  After the session is completed, the Crystal Plates are re-stowed.

Operational Protocols
NanoRacks Module-19 is soft-stowed in a Glacier at -95°C.  Crew removes the module from Glacier and places it inside NanoRacks Platform-1.  Thaw and crystal growth occur without crew interaction.  The crew observes crystal growth status on the slides.  

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Results/More Information

Information Pending

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Results Publications

    Carruthers, Jr. CW, Gerdts C, Johnson MD, Webb P.  A microfluidic, high throughput protein crystal growth method for microgravity. PLOS ONE. 2013 November 21; 8(11): e82298. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0082298. PMID: 24278480.

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Ground Based Results Publications

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ISS Patents

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Related Publications

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Related Websites
NanoRacks

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Imagery

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Lysozyme (above) and Thermolysin (below) crystals grown in microgravity on the ISS. In collaboration with Carl Carruthers at Houston Methodist Research Institute, NanoRacks developed a new method of growing microgravity protein crystals, allowing researchers the possibility to grow more crystals with very little protein. Image courtesy of Carl Carruthers.

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NanoRacks-Protein Crystal Growth-1 (NanoRacks-PCG-1) is a proprietary protein crystal growth housed inside NanoRacks Module-19.  Image courtesy of Carl W. Carruthers, Jr.


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