NanoRacks Plate Reader (NanoRacks Plate Reader) - 11.25.15

Summary | Overview | Operations | Results | Publications | Imagery

ISS Science for Everyone

Science Objectives for Everyone
NanoRacks Plate Reader is a laboratory instrument designed to detect biological, chemical or physical events of samples in microtiter plates. Microplate readers are widely used in research, drug discovery, bioassay validation, quality control and manufacturing processes in the pharmaceutical and biotechnological industry and academic organizations.
Science Results for Everyone
Information Pending

The following content was provided by Michael D. Lewis, B.S., M.S., and is maintained in a database by the ISS Program Science Office.
Facility Details

OpNom: Plate Reader

Facility Manager(s)
Michael D. Lewis, B.S., M.S., NanoRacks, LLC, Webster, TX, United States

Facility Representative(s)
Mary M. Murphy, PHP, NanoRacks LLC, DC, United States
Marcia Blount, NanoRacks LLC, Webster, TX, United States

Developer(s) Information Pending

Sponsoring Space Agency
National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)

Sponsoring Organization
National Laboratory (NL)

ISS Expedition Duration
September 2011 - March 2015

Expeditions Assigned

Previous ISS Missions
Plate Reader was previously on ISS from September 2011 to January 2015; up on HTV3 and returned on SpX-5.


  • Onboard
  • ^ back to top

    Facility Description

    Facility Overview
    Provides a more technical description of the objectives of the facility aimed at an interdisciplinary scientific, engineering and user audience. Several paragraphs may be used. Technical terminology should be defined to ensure readability. Technical specification information about the facility should also be included here. The Facility Summary should address the following items as thoroughly as possible: Why is the facility needed? What type of research is supported? Comments for potential users; a description of related hardware and its flight history.

    NanoRacks Plate Reader is a modified SpectraMax® M5e Multi-Mode Microplate Reader. The SpectraMax® M5e Multi-Mode Microplate Reader is the standard for UV/Visible multi-mode reader absorbance, providing ultrafast, full spectral range detection for 6-, 12-, 24-, 48-, 96-, 384-well microplates while utilizing SoftMax Pro 6 data acquisition and analysis software. Researchers can also use a CuvettePlate Micro Plate Adapter for cuvette samples. NanoRacks Plate Reader possesses five modes, UV-Visible Absorbance, Fluorescence Intensity, Time-Resolved Fluorescence, Fluorescence Polarization, and Glow Luminescence, providing the benefit of multiple detection modes in one platform. The NanoRacks Plate Reader has an added thermal regulation capability making long-term incubation of samples possible, such as measuring microbial growth or monitoring gene expression.
    Using the patented PathCheck® Pathlength Measurement Technology, the SpectraMax M5e Microplate Reader transforms each well in a microplate to a fixed optical pathlength cuvette. This temperature-independent normalization corrects for varying well volumes and can eliminate standard curves by allowing the calculation of concentrations directly from the absorbance with a known extinction coefficient, as exemplified with nucleic acid and protein quantitation.
    For fluorescence intensity, time resolved fluorescence, and fluorescence polarization assays, the optical design provides the highest level of flexibility. Users can select from top or bottom read modes for improved sensitivity for solution and cell-based assays. Assays can be better optimized by scanning across a range of wavelengths in increments as small as 1 nm. Up to 4 wavelength pairs can be read in one protocol for endpoint and kinetic measurements.
    For luminescence, the NanoRacks Plate Reader utilizes a dedicated luminescence photomultiplier tube (PMT), providing the user the maximum signal and lowest background possible for glow luminescence reporter gene assays.

    ^ back to top


    Facility Operations

    • A one-CTB microplate reader is installed near the Microgravity Science Glovebox in the Japanese Experimental Module EXPRESS Rack 4. Crew time is required for hardware installation, preparation of the test and science microplates, and stowage of the samples for return.

    ^ back to top

    Decadal Survey Recommendations

    Information Pending

    ^ back to top
    Results/More Information

    Information Pending

    Results Publications

    ^ back to top

    Ground Based Results Publications

    ^ back to top

    ISS Patents

    ^ back to top

    Related Publications

    ^ back to top

    Related Websites

    ^ back to top


    NASA Image: ISS034E005601 - View of the front panel of NanoRacks Plate Reader prior to installation on the International Space Station.

    + View Larger Image

    NASA Image: ISS034E005602 - NanoRacks Plate Reader prior to installation on board the International Space Station.

    + View Larger Image

    Digital sketch of the front panel of NanoRacks Plate Reader. Image courtesy of NanoRacks.

    + View Larger Image

    Front view of NanoRacks Plate Reader inside of the EXPRESS locker. Image courtesy of NanoRacks.

    + View Larger Image