Cell Culturing (CellCult) - 07.29.14
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Cell Culturing (CellCult) is an automated cell culture laboratory housed in an ADvanced Space Experiment Processor (ADSEP). It contains one rotating reactor vessel that is fed fresh medium from a nutrient bag in perfusion, batch, or sampling mode. Up to six samples of medium or cells can be collected during a flight, and if desired, the entire culture can be fixed before its return to Earth.
Science Results for Everyone
Techshot, Incorporated, Greenville, IN, United States
Sponsoring Space Agency
National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)
Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate (HEOMD)
ISS Expedition Duration
Previous ISS Missions
CellCult has flown on space shuttle flight STS-95.
- Cell Culturing (CellCult) tests cells for their responses to gravity. For most cells, this means testing the role of extracellular transport phenomena (movement of chemicals across the cell wall) in the presence and absence of gravity.
- The cells may be cultured in suspension or attached to microcarrier beads (which provide a surface for more normal cell growth). Control over vessel rotation, which is initially required to maintain the cells in a suspended state before launch, is necessary to study the relative importance of mixing, diffusion, centrifugal force, shear, and sedimentation on cell growth.
The plumbing system of the CellCult cassette includes the reactor vessel, perfusion system, aeration loop, and sampling manifold. A peristaltic pump feeds clean medium from a fresh-medium storage bag to the reactor vessel at a rate specified by the investigator. The fluid within the vessel can be circulated via external loop for oxygenation or exchange with any other gas.
Up to six samples of the supernatant or, if the organisms are very small, unfiltered culture can be collected during the flight. The investigator can choose the collection time, as the process is totally automated.
The CellCult operates in the ADvanced Space Experiment Processor (ADSEP) locker, which supplies the command and data computer for the cassette. Its outer dimensions are approximately 7.6 x 20.3 x 25.4 cm, and three cassettes are accommodated in the ADSEP. Each CellCult cassette operates with two or three levels of containment. CellCult is installed in the vehicle, usually with the reactor vessel rotating to maintain cells in suspension. Upon achieving orbit or transferring to the International Space Station, each rotating vessel is set to off or to a speed specified by the investigator.
The CellCult operates according to a programmed timeline during the planned on-orbit experiment. The investigator monitors the experiment's progress from the ground. A crewmember stows the unused cassette under conditions required by the experiment or available on the spacecraft until the shuttle's return to Earth. The cassettes may be transferred to another carrier for the return. Investigators recover the cassettes and remove samples needed for analysis in the laboratory once they are returned to Earth.
- CellCult is installed in the vehicle, usually with the reactor vessel rotating to maintain cells in suspension. Upon reaching orbit or transferring to the International Space Station, each rotating vessel is set to off or to a speed specified by the investigator.
- CellCult operates according to a programmed timeline during the planned on-orbit experiment.
- Investigators recover the cassettes and remove samples in the laboratory upon the ADSEP's return to Earth.
Ground Based Results Publications
- NIH BioMed-ISS Meeting Video Presentation, 2009?CellCult
- NIH BioMed-ISS Meeting, 2009?CellCult