Commercial Generic Bioprocessing Apparatus (CGBA) - 11.29.18

Summary | Overview | Operations | Results | Publications | Imagery

ISS Science for Everyone

Science Objectives for Everyone
The Commercial Generic Bioprocessing Apparatus (CGBA) provides programmable, accurate temperature control for applications ranging from cold stowage to customizable incubation. The CGBA is used for experiments on cells, microbes, and plants.
Science Results for Everyone
Information Pending

The following content was provided by Louis S. Stodieck, Ph.D., and is maintained in a database by the ISS Program Science Office.
Facility Details


Facility Manager(s)
Louis S. Stodieck, Ph.D., University of Colorado, BioServe Space Technologies, Boulder, CO, United States

Facility Representative(s)
Information Pending

BioServe Space Technologies, Boulder, CO, United States

Sponsoring Space Agency
National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)

Sponsoring Organization
Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate (HEOMD)

ISS Expedition Duration
September 2000 - November 2000; March 2001 - August 2001; December 2001 - December 2002; April 2003 - April 2004; April 2006 - September 2011; May 2012 - September 2012; March 2013 - March 2016; March 2016 - September 2016; April 2017 - February 2018

Expeditions Assigned

Previous Missions
The Commercial Generic Bioprocessing Apparatus (CGBA) has been used on International Space Station Expeditions 0, 2, 4, 5, 7, 8, 13, 14, and 15.


  • Onboard
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    Facility Description

    Facility Overview

    • The CGBA provides termperature control for a variety of applications ranging from cold stowage to customizable incubation.

    • The CGBA can be used in a variety of biological studies, such as protein crystal growth, small insect habitat, plant development, antibiotic-producing bacteria, and cell culture studies.
    The Commercial Generic Bioprocessing Apparatus (CGBA) provides automated processing for biological experiments. The CGBA is designed to be installed in the EXpedite the PRocessing of Experiments to Space Station (EXPRESS) rack for on-orbit operation. During Expedition 0, the CGBA facility was a sortie payload that did not operate on the International Space Station (ISS); it operated onboard the space shuttle Atlantis during STS-106 while the shuttle was docked with the ISS. The CGBA was launched on STS-100 for its first ISS operations and was initially installed in EXPRESS rack 4 on the ISS during Expedition 2. The CGBA remained operational on the ISS for 96 days before returning to Earth on STS-104. The CGBA was next launched to the ISS on STS-110 and remained onboard and fully functional for 72 days. The CGBA was launched for its third stint on the ISS on STS-112 and remained onboard the ISS for almost 5 years, returning to Earth on STS-118. Two additional CGBAs have been launched to the ISS, one on STS-116 and the second on STS-118; both are fully functional units.

    The CGBA can be fitted with a customizable insert: Isothermal Containment Module (ICM) v.4 and 5 provide highly accurate temperature control between -10 and 37 °C. Eight areas with individual temperature control are available inside; the surrounding container controls the temperature gradients. ICM v.4 and 5 are fully equipped with data, video, and telemetry electronics to allow remote operation. ICM v.4 and 5 can be equipped with several bioprocessing inserts, such as the Multiple Orbital Bioreactor with Instrumentation and Automated Sampling (MOBIAS), the Gas Exchange - Group Activation Packs (GE-GAPs), and small habitats called CGBA Science Inserts (CSI).
    • MOBIAS consists of stackable trays, each of which provides an appropriately controlled, sterile sample-processing environment with passive gas exchange, automated sampling, and waste removal. Each tray contains its own array of sample, culture, media, waste bags, and connectors.

    • GE-GAPs have an aluminum shell that enables heat transfer and a gas-permeable membrane that covers the openings in the wall to allow passive gas exchange for the experimental samples located in the GAPs inside BioServe's fluid processing apparatus, a piece of hardware similar to a small test tube that can activate, mix, grow, and terminate biological experiments.

    • The CSI is a package of experiments that usually contains several smaller habitats to be launched on the space shuttle and inserted into the CGBA onboard the ISS. These inserts have the ability to support small plant, animal, and protein crystal growth experiments. The CSI is fully equipped with video and still imaging capabilities that can be monitored from BioServe's Payload Operations Control Center in near real time.
    The CBGA can support temperatures ranging from -10 to 37 °C. Thus, CGBA can be used for cold storage of samples that were processed in a different facility as well as for incubation of samples. A variety of payloads can operate in the Commercial Generic Bioprocessing Apparatus (CGBA) regardless of their temperature needs. CGBA provides independent temperature control in a range of -10 and 37 °C. Most payloads that use the CGBA require minimal crew time due to the facility's automated design.

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    Facility Operations

    • The Commercial Generic Bioprocessing Apparatus (CGBA) is a computer-controlled, automated facility that requires minimal crew time.

    • Command and telemetry capabilities allow real-time, ground-based data monitoring and remote operations.

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    Decadal Survey Recommendations

    Information Pending

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    Results/More Information

    Results Publications

      Hoehn A, Klaus DM, Stodieck LS.  A Modular Suite of Hardware Enabling Space Flight Cell Culture Research. Journal of Gravitational Physiology. 2004; 11(1): 39-50.

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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

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    NASA Image:  ISS004E11048 - Commercial Generic Bioprocessing Apparatus (CGBA) Isothermal Containment Module (ICM) v.3, installed in EXpedite the PRocessing of Experiments to Space Station (EXPRESS) rack 4 just above Expedition 4 flight engineer Dan Bursch's extended left arm.

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    image Postflight image of the CGBA-APS investigation shows a MOBIAS tray with viable culture in bag (large bag at the top of the image), waste and sample bags (located at the right of the image).
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    NASA Image:  ISS015E08361- Commercial Generic Bioprocessing Apparatus (CGBA) container and the Isothermal Containment Module (ICM), which provides automated processing for biological experiments, in the U.S. Laboratory, Destiny, during Expedition 15.

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    NASA Image:  ISS021E029871 - Canadian Space Agency astronaut Robert Thirsk, Expedition 21 flight engineer, works with Commercial Generic Bioprocessing Apparatus (CGBA) Science Insert 03 (CSI-03) assembly in the Kibo laboratory of the International Space Station. CSI-03 is flying two butterfly habitats during this mission and will examine the complete life cycle of the butterflies as they eat, grow and undergo metamorphosis in space.

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    NASA Image:  S130E008317 - NASA astronaut Nicholas Patrick, STS-130 mission specialist, works with CGBA on the middeck of space shuttle Endeavour while docked with the International Space Station.

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    image NASA Commander Mark Kelly with CGBA and GAP/FPA hardware containing NLP-Vaccine 10 during Increment 27/28.
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    image Ground processing image of the Commercial Generic Bioprocessing Apparatus (CGBA) hardware.
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    NASA Image:  ISS033E011737 - CGBA during Increment 33 showing open containment volume and sample canisters.

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