Feature

Group Activation Pack-Fluid Processing Apparatus
12.04.12
 
 

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

Facility Overview

This content was provided by Stefanie Countryman, M.A., M.B.A., and is maintained in a database by the ISS Program Science Office.

Brief Facility Summary

The Group Activation Pack-Fluid Processing Apparatus (GAP-FPA) is similar to a small test tube containing a glass barrel with a rubber septum in a LexanTM sheath. It has gas-permeable membranes; however, gas exchange is limited. The GAP-FPA allows sequential mixing of two or three fluids within a sterile environment.

Facility Manager(s)

  • Stefanie Countryman, M.A., M.B.A., University of Colorado, BioServe Space Technologies, Boulder, CO, United States
  • Co-Facility Manager(s)

    Information Pending

    Facility Developer(s)

    University of Colorado at Boulder, BioServe Space Technologies, Boulder, CO, United States

    Sponsoring Agency

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)

    Expeditions Assigned

    0,8,13,16,17,18

    Previous ISS Missions

    Thousands of GAP-FPAs have flown aboard the space shuttle, Progress, Mir and International Space Station.

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    Facility Description

    Facility Overview

    • The Group Activation Pack-Fluid Processing Apparatus (GAP-FPA) is capable of mixing fluids in microgravity.


    • The GAP-FPA can be used in a variety of biological studies, such as antibiotic-producing bacteria, yeast, and cell culture studies.

    Description

    The Group Activation Pack-Fluid Processing Apparatus (GAP-FPA) is a test tube that allows controlled, sequential mixing of two or three fluids in microgravity. A total of 6.5-ml of fluid is contained inside a glass barrel (1.35 cm inner diameter x 11.7 cm) surrounded by a LexanTM sheath and initially can be isolated into three volumes by a rubber septum. A bypass in the glass barrel allows fluid to flow into an adjacent chamber as a plunger mechanism pushes the septum forward. Sets of eight FPAs can be housed in a GAP. Currently, four types of GAPs are used to support the FPAs; they are as follows:

    • The Manual GAP provides a third level of fluid containment and allows eight FPAs to be processed simultaneously. Crewmembers manually activate the GAP by attaching a crank handle.


    • The Automated GAP (auto-GAP) provides a third level of fluid containment and allows eight FPAs to be processed simultaneously using a direct-current (DC) motor drive mechanism to initiate and terminate experiments based on preprogrammed instructions. The auto-GAP can be housed within the Commercial Generic Bioprocessing Apparatus (CGBA) Isothermal Containment Module (ICM) v.1 and 2 for computer and thermal control.


    • The Internal Motor GAP (IM-GAP) provides a third level of fluid containment and allows eight FPAs to be processed simultaneously. It uses an internal centerline DC-motor drive mechanism to initiate and terminate experiments based on preprogrammed instructions. The IM-GAP shell is constructed of aluminum to improve heat-transfer properties. The IM-GAP can be housed within CGBA ICM v.3 for computer and individual thermal control.


    • The Gas Exchange GAP (GE-GAP) provides a third level of fluid containment and allows eight FPAs to be processed simultaneously when used in conjunction with an IM-GAP, or it can house a stack of nine 105-mm petri dishes. Like the IM-GAP, the GE-GAP's shell is constructed of aluminum to improve heat transfer properties. Openings in the wall, which are covered by gas-permeable membranes, allow passive gas exchange for the experiment samples. The GE-GAP is housed within the CGBA ICM v.3 for computer and individual thermal control.
    The FPA has gas-permeable membranes that allow limited gas exchange. Each FPA has a total liquid volume of 6.5-ml and allows sequential mixing of two or three fluids in a sterile environment. Eight FPAs can be housed in an automated, motorized GAP.

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    Operations

    Facility Operations

    The Commercial Generic Bioprocessing Apparatus (CGBA) Isothermal Containment Module (ICM) v.4 and 5 can provide highly accurate temperature control between -10 and 37 °C. Eight areas with individually controlled temperature are available inside the CGBA when it is loaded with the GAP-FPA hardware. The CGBA ICM v.4 and 5 are fully equipped with data, video, and telemetry electronics to allow telescience remote operation and can be equipped with a number of bioprocessing inserts, including FPAs within the GAPs.

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    Results/More Information

    Information Pending

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    Availability

  • Operated on Space Shuttle
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    Results Publications

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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
  • BioServe
  • NIH BioMed-ISS Meeting, 2009—GAP-FPA
  • NIH BioMed-ISS Meeting Video Presentation, 2009—GAP-FPA
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    Imagery

    image The Group Activation Pack-Fluid Processing Apparatus (GAP-FPA) is essentially a microgravity test tube that allows controlled, sequential mixing of two or three fluids in a weightless environment. Image courtesy of BioServe Space Technologies, University of Colorado - Boulder, Boulder, CO.
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