The Effects of Space Flight Factors on a Lactolen Producer Strain (Lactolen) (Lactolen) - 03.14.18

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Science Objectives for Everyone
The probiotic based on strains of Lactobacillus acidophilus is a representative of a new generation of immunobiological preparations, created with due regard for modern ideas in medicine and biotechnology. It exhibits high therapeutic effectiveness and safety, and does not cause allergic reactions. The Effects of Space Flight Factors on a Lactolen Producer Strain (Lactolen) investigation studies the effects of exposure to space flight on the biomedical properties of investigated strains of Lactobacillus acidophilus. Microgravity is believed to be the principal space flight exposure factor acting on living organisms. At the same time, other on-orbit factors cannot be ignored—in particular, cell motion in a geomagnetic field and cosmic radiation.
Science Results for Everyone
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The following content was provided by L. N. Petrov, Ye N. Sventitski, and is maintained in a database by the ISS Program Science Office.
Experiment Details


Principal Investigator(s)
L. N. Petrov, Biopreparat, Russia
Ye N. Sventitski, Russia

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Sponsoring Space Agency
Russian Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos)

Sponsoring Organization
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Research Benefits
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ISS Expedition Duration
October 2007 - September 2011; May 2012 - September 2014

Expeditions Assigned

Previous Missions
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Experiment Description

Research Overview
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Space Applications
Selected high-productivity lines (clones) of Lactobacillus acidophilus strains with improved biomedical characteristics will be used to produce the Vitaflor probiotic preparation at the facility of the State Scientific and Research Institute of High-Purity Medicinal Products (Federal State Unitary Enterprise), Russia.

Earth Applications
Data on the impact of on-orbit exposure on the growth, genetic, and probiotic properties of lactic acid bacteria obtained from Lactobacillus acidophilus will be used to establish the production of probiotics on the space station.

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Operational Requirements and Protocols
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Decadal Survey Recommendations

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Results/More Information

The results of the Lactolen experiment during ISS-16, ISS-19, and ISS-21 confirmed data obtained regarding the high sensitivity of liquid Lactobacillus cultures to space flight factors. In addition, flight specimens are characterized by exceptionally high sensitivity to storage—after one week, the number of viable cells had fallen sharply in comparison with ground specimens.

During the next phase of the experiment (during missions ISS-23 to ISS-30), a study was conducted of the effects of space flight factors on the probiotic properties of dry formulations consisting of nutrient medium and seed material and exposed to space flight conditions aboard the ISS for 0.5, 1, and 1.5 years. The experimental specimens comprised a mixture of polydisperse powder (having a particle size of 10-150 μm), nutrient medium, and seed material (the Vitaflor probiotic).

It was determined that, after exposure aboard the ISS for 1.5 yr, the dry parent stock of the Vitaflor lactic acid product retains its probiotic potential and may be used to obtain a probiotically functional Vitaflor product.

During ISS-32, a long-duration session of the Lactolen experiment was begun, to study the influence of space flight factors on the probiotic properties of dry systems consisting of a dried and pulverized nutrient medium (liquid milk) and seed material in the form of a porous tablet of Vitaflor probiotic. The duration of exposure aboard the ISS was 0.5 yr, 1 yr, and 2 yr.

The distinguishing feature of this session was the change in the seed material from a polydisperse powder to a fragment of a porous tablet, obtained using an innovative method of molding and freeze drying (RF Patent No. 2169547 [cq-Trans]). The use of an initial starter in the form of a tablet obtained via the innovative method of molding and freeze drying (RF Patent No. 2169547) simplifies the technology for obtaining a freeze-dried parent stock for the product, as it eliminates the stage of pulverizing a biological preparation, which reduces the starter’s biological activity.

It was shown that over a 2 yr period of exposure aboard the ISS at the working compartment temperature, the freeze-dried parent stock of the lactic-acid probiotic Vitaflor product retained a high level of probiotic lactic-acid bacteria. The lactic-acid products obtained from flight specimens are a bioculture of L. acidophilus (strains D75 and D76) that is characteristic of the Vitaflor probiotic, with a high level of physiologically active lactic-acid bacteria. Lactic-acid bacteria exhibit typical stability to antibiotics, which are the drugs of choice used to treat infectious diseases of various bacterial nature; they show high antagonism to opportunistic pathogenic bacteria; they are stable to the adverse antagonism of S. aureus and К. pneumoniae.

Thus, lactic-acid products obtained by fermenting freeze-dried parent stock exhibit high probiotic potential. At the conclusion of the experiment during ISS-32, a ground selection was made of highly stable clones of L. acidophilus strain D75, obtained from a flight specimen. The obtained clones will be used to develop a new generation of bacterial probiotics, with their subsequent production by the manufacturing section of the State Scientific and Research Institute of High-Purity Medicinal Products (Federal State Unitary Enterprise), Russian Federal Biomedical Agency.

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Related Websites
Energia - Science Research on the ISS Russian Segment

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