Biological Research in Canisters (BRIC) - 01.09.14
Science Objectives for Everyone
The Biological Research in Canisters (BRIC) is an anodized-aluminum cylinder used to provide passive stowage for investigations studying the effects of space flight on small specimens.
Science Results for Everyone
Kennedy Space Center, Space Life Sciences Laboratory, Cape Canaveral, FL, United States
Bionetics Corporation, Cape Canaveral, FL, United States
Sponsoring Space Agency
National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)
Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate (HEOMD)
ISS Expedition Duration
September 2000 - November 2000
Previous ISS Missions
The BRIC has been usedin various experiments during several space shuttle missions.
- The Biological Research In Canisters (BRIC) hardware provides a storage container for investigations into the effects of space flight on small specimens.
- A series of BRIC hardware was created to accommodate various specimens for investigations during space flight:
- The BRIC 60-mm petri dish (BRIC-60) has both an upper and lower chamber. Four pressure relief vents in each chamber meet the rapid depressurization requirements for the space shuttle. These vents make a series of convoluted turns to maintain a light-tight environment inside the canister chamber.
- The BRIC 100-mm petri dish (BRIC-100) cylinder has threaded lids on each end that allow passive gas exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide through a semipermeable membrane. The BRIC-100 is not a light-tight container.
- The BRIC 100-mm petri dish vacuum containment (BRIC-100VC) is a completely sealed, anodized-aluminum cylinder. The top and bottom lids of the canister include quick disconnect valves for gas purging. Using these valves, a specific atmosphere can be sealed inside the canister, providing control of experimental conditions.
- The BRIC light-emitting diodes (BRIC-LED) will provide one level of containment. LEDs placed inside the canister deliver a specified light wavelength and intensity to each petri dish within the canister.
- Specimens flown in the BRIC 60-mm petri dish (BRIC-60) include Lycoperscion esculentum (tomato), Arabidopsis thaliana (thale cress), and Glycine max (soybean) seedlings; Physarum polycephalum (slime mold) cells; Pothetria dispar (gypsy moth) eggs; and Ceratodon (moss).
- Specimens flown in the BRIC 100-mm petri dish (BRIC-100) include Manduca sexta (tobacco hornworm) pupae and Hemerocallis (daylily) and Dactylis glomerta L. (orchard grass) embryos.
- The BRIC 100-mm petri dish vacuum containment (BRIC-100VC) has carried one specimen, Hemerocallis (daylily) cells, in agar for 4.5 months.
- The BRIC light-emitting diodes (BRIC-LED) has carried only one specimen of Ceratodon (moss).
- The BRIC-60 can hold a maximum of twelve 60-mm petri dishes (a total of twenty-four per full canister), or thirteen Teflon® tubes (a total of twenty-six per full canister) can be placed inside each canister chamber. The physical dimensions are 6.25 inches (height) x 10.25 inches (outside diameter). The total weight of the BRIC-60 is 1.9 lb. No power is required. Up to five full canisters can be flown in ambient Orbiter middeck conditions in a standard middeck locker. Up to five half-BRIC canisters will fit inside the gaseous nitrogen (GN2) freezer.
- The BRIC-100 can accommodate nine polycarbonate 100-mm petri plates. The outside dimensions of the BRIC-100 canister are 15 inches (height) x 14.25 inches (outside diameter). The bottom and top lids of each canister have twenty-five 0.5-mm holes and a Teflon® membrane (pore size 0.5 micrometers). Two septa are located in the lid to allow gas sampling. Underneath this lid, the semipermeable membrane is attached and supported by an anodized-aluminum ring. The ring and membrane assembly are supported by five stainless-steel screws. If gas exchange is not required, the semipermeable membrane and capture ring can be replaced by an aluminum capture plate to provide a closed experimental environment. The petri plates inside the canister are held in place by a petri dish cage insert. The cage insert is manufactured from 304 stainless steel and contains glide rivets made from acetal. The rack provides both vibration isolation from the other dishes and the canister and air space between each petri dish. The BRIC-100 canisters are flown in sets of three, and a standard Orbiter middeck locker can accommodate up to six BRIC-100 canisters.
- The BRIC-100VC canister can accommodate standard 100-mm laboratory petri plates. The outside dimensions of the BRIC-100VC canisters are 6.27 inches (height) x 14 inches (outside diameter). The BRIC-100VC canister provides containment and structural support for the specimens and their hardware. The lid of the canister uses a toggle switch and O-ring assembly that allows quick sealing and removal of the lid. The bottom of the canister has sufficient storage space for passive temperature and relative humidity recorders. The canisters are flown in sets of 9, and a standard Orbiter middeck locker can accommodate up to 18.
- The BRIC-LED can use a complement set of hardware, the Petri Dish Fixation Unit (PDFU). The PDFU is a specialized holder for a standard 60-mm petri dish, which delivers fixative to the sample in the petri dish. The PDFU is inserted into the BRIC-LED. Each BRIC-LED can house six PDFUs. The physical dimensions are 6.8 inches (length) x 3.5 inches (width) x 3.75 inches (height). Total weight is 4 lb. Electrical requirements are 6 watts. The lid of each BRIC-LED is secured using 10 screws and includes a silicone gasket to provide a seal between the lid and the base. The lid of the BRIC-LED also has six holes for insertion of a PDFU actuator attachment that allows fixation of the specimens. Each of the holes is sealed using a silicone septum. The lid of each BRIC-LED also houses a circuit board that contains red surface-mount LEDs (six per BRIC) for illuminating specimens, switches (six per BRIC) for controlling the on-off status of red LEDs, and green surface-mount LEDs (six per BRIC) for verifying the on-off status of the red LEDs. Each red LED is located on the bottom of the circuit board, with a corresponding green LED located on top of the lid. The green LEDs provide the crew with a method of verifying red LED illumination and operations. Each red LED provides a wavelength of 640 to 660 nm red light to the samples located inside the canister via a Pyrex light pipe. The switches are located on the top of the circuit board to switch the LEDs on or off at the appropriate time. An additional orange LED is located on top of the circuit board to indicate that power is being properly supplied to the canister?s circuitry. A custom stowage tray is used to house the BRIC-LED canisters and power distribution box. The tray is made of anodized aluminum and contains a power connector to allow Orbiter power connection to the locker before flight. An enclosed fan prevents samples from reaching extreme temperatures.
- The Biological Research In Canisters (BRIC) is a passive experiment container.
- Minimal BRIC operations include transferring the BRIC from International Space Station (ISS) stowage to the Minus-Eighty Degree Laboratory Freezer for ISS (MELFI) or other stowage as required by individual investigation requirements.
Ground Based Results Publications
Brown C, Hilaire EM, Guikema JA, Piastuch WC, Johnson CF, Stryjewski EC, Peterson BV, Vordermark DS. Metabolism, ultrastructure and growth of soybean seedlings in microgravity: results from the BRIC-01 and BRIC-03 experiments.Gravitational and Space Biology. 1995; 9: 93.
Conger BV, Tomaszewski Z, McDaniel JK, Vasilenko A. Spaceflight reduces somatic embryogenesis in orchard grass (Poaceae). Plant, Cell and Environment. 2002; 21(11): 1197-203.
Link BM, Cosgrove DJ. Analysis of peg formation in cucumber seedlings grown on clinostats and in a microgravity (space) environment. Journal of Plant Research. 1999; 112(4): 507-516. DOI: 10.1007/PL00013907.
Levine HG, Sharek JA, Johnson KM, Stryjewski EC, Prima VI, Martynenko OI, Piastuch WC. Growth Protocols for Etiolated Soybeans Germinated within BRIC-60 Canisters Under Spaceflight Conditions. Advances in Space Research. 2003; 26(2): 311-314.
- KSC Life Sciences Data Archive Hardware Catalog
- NIH BioMed-ISS Meeting Video Presentation, 2009?BRIC
- NIH BioMed-ISS Meeting, 2009?BRIC
BRIC-60 with Teflon® sample tubes. Image courtesy of http://www.lssc.nasa.gov/fs/lsda/.
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BRIC-60 in its half-middeck flight configuration. Image courtesy of http://www.lssc.nasa.gov/fs/lsda/.
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BRIC-100 with petri rack. Image courtesy of http://www.lssc.nasa.gov/fs/lsda/.
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BRIC-100VC with petri rack. Image courtesy of http://www.lssc.nasa.gov/fs/lsda/.
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BRIC-LED. Image courtesy of http://www.lssc.nasa.gov/fs/lsda/.
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