Multiple Orbital Bioreactor with Instrumentation and Automated Sampling (MOBIAS) - 07.19.17

Summary | Overview | Operations | Results | Publications | Imagery

ISS Science for Everyone

Science Objectives for Everyone
Multiple Orbital Bioreactor with Instrumentation and Automated Sampling (MOBIAS) was designed to enable long-term cell culture growth on board the International Space Station.
Science Results for Everyone
Information Pending

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


Facility Manager(s)
Stefanie Countryman, M.B.A., BioServe Space Technologies, Boulder, CO, United States

Facility Representative(s)
Information Pending

BioServe Space Technologies, University of Colorado, 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
March 2001 - August 2001; December 2001 - June 2002

Expeditions Assigned

Previous Missions
MOBIAS was operated on ISS Expeditions 2 and 4.


  • Retired/Returned/Disposed
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    Facility Description

    Facility Overview

    • Multiple Orbital Bioreactor with Instrumentation and Automated Sampling (MOBIAS) is a fermentation, cell culture, and tissue engineering apparatus; which can be placed inside the Commercial Generic Bioprocessing Apparatus (CGBA).

    • MOBIAS provides automated processing for biological experiments in microgravity through semi-continuous fed batch processing.
    MOBIAS was designed to enable long-term cell culture growth aboard the International Space Station (ISS) through semi-continuous feed batch processing. In addition to providing gas exchange, fresh nutrient medium addition and waste removal, periodic discrete samples can be drawn throughout the mission and stowed in a separate thermal environment (10 degrees C) while the primary reactor is maintained at a selected optimal temperature (25 degrees C). MOBIAS is housed within a modified Commercial Generic Bioprocessing Apparatus (CGBA) ICM v.4 or 5 for computer and thermal control.

    MOBIAS allows feed-batch processing with sampling and waste removal and passive gas exchange. MOBIAS provides a 50-ml total culture volume per tray. MOBIAS allows for fixation of samples (chemical and/or thermal) and a 350-ml media volume along with a 350-ml waste volume in a sterile environment using Teflon or silicone culture/sample bags. MOBIAS provides independent, adjustable temperature control for cultures and samples between 10 degrees C and 37 degrees C and supports six trays independently.

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    Facility Operations

    • Description MOBIAS is installed inside a CGBA to allow for automation and minimal crew time.

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

    • Crew operations involved activation/deactivation, insertion/removal of hardware, status checks, and air filter maintenance.

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    Decadal Survey Recommendations

    Information Pending

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    Results/More Information

    Information Pending

    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

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    image Post flight images show MOBIAS tray with waste bag and samples visible (dark substance indicates actinomycin D), close up of remaining viable culture from opened tray, and sample bags. Image courtesy of BioServe Space Technologies, University of Colorado - Boulder, Boulder, CO.
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    image Helping to develop and operate the MOBIAS payload provided me with an excellent opportunity to combine my background in microbiology with the engineering skills I learned while at BioServe. A substantial portion of my Ph.D. dissertation was devoted to this project, and this multidisciplinary experience helped me obtain my current position as a Post-Doctoral Scholar at Stanford University. Mike Benoit, Ph.D.
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