Search Marshall

Go

Photo Gallery

Text Size

NASA "Lab-On-a-Chip" Technology Begins Journey to Space Station
12.04.06
 
Steve Roy
Marshall Space Flight Center, Huntsville, Ala.
(Phone: 256.544.0034)

Photo release: 06-138


Labs on chips -- like the ones that serve as the core of the Lab-On-a-Chip Application Development Portable Test System, or LOCAD-PTS, are manufactured in many shapes and sizes and can be used for numerous applications. + Large (3008 x 1960, 300 ppi)
+ Medium (516 x 336, 72 ppi)
+ Small (100 x 75, 72 ppi)


Labs on chips -- like the ones that serve as the core of the Lab-On-a-Chip Application Development Portable Test System, or LOCAD-PTS, are manufactured in many shapes and sizes and can be used for numerous applications – from medical tests to water quality monitoring to detecting signatures of life on other planets. Next spring, astronauts on the International Space Station will test the LOCAD-PTS system, designed to identify microbial bacteria on surfaces within the space station. Such technology, developed by science teams led by NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala., could support chemical and biological research on future exploration missions to the moon, to Mars and beyond.

Image credit: NASA/MSFC


During a DC-9 test flight experiment, project scientist Dr. Jake Maule, left, and principal investigator Dr. Norman Wainwright test the Lab-On-a-Chip Application Development Portable Test System, or LOCAD-PTS. + Large (2592 x 1944, 72 ppi)
+ Medium (516 x 387, 72 ppi)
+ Small (100 x 75, 72 ppi)


During a DC-9 test flight experiment, project scientist Dr. Jake Maule, left, and principal investigator Dr. Norman Wainwright test the Lab-On-a-Chip Application Development Portable Test System, or LOCAD-PTS -- a unique, NASA-developed science instrument that could transform how astronauts conduct chemical and biological research in space. Maule and Wainwright work for the Carnegie Institution of Washington and Charles River Laboratories in Wilmington, Mass., two partners in the development effort led by NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala. The LOCAD portable test system will be carried to the International Space Station Dec. 7 by Space Shuttle Discovery, part of the STS-116 science payload. Space station crew members will test the system in spring 2007.

Image credit: Charles River Laboratories


Dr. Lisa Monaco, project scientist for the Lab-on-a-Chip Applications Development program, examines a prototype chip. + Large (3008 x 1960, 240 ppi)
+ Medium (516 x 336, 72 ppi)
+ Small (100 x 75, 72 ppi)


Dr. Lisa Monaco, project scientist for the Lab-on-a-Chip Applications Development program, examines a prototype chip similar to those used in the portable test system slated for launch to the International Space Station Dec. 7 as part of STS-116's science payload. The small dots on the chip are actually ports where fluids and chemicals can be mixed or samples can be collected for testing. Tiny channels, only clearly visible under a microscope, form pathways between the ports. Many chemical and biological processes -- previously conducted on large pieces of laboratory equipment – now can be performed on these small glass or plastic plates. Monaco and other researchers at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala., are customizing the chips to be used for many space applications, such as monitoring microbes inside spacecraft and detecting life on other planets.

Image credit: NASA/MSFC


+ News Release