The ability to generate intravenous (IV) fluids for medical care from available spacecraft potable or technical water supplies will greatly reduce launch mass for NASA's future exploration class missions. In spite of designing and testing several systems, NASA has not yet met that goal. As a result, NASA’s Human Research Program initiated a detailed effort examining several different technologies for first purifying water and then mixing effectively with appropriate solutes.
IntraVenous Fluid GENeration for Exploration Missions (IVGEN) will demonstrate a microgravity compatible water purification to the standards required for intravenous administration, and a pharmaceutical mixing system. This hardware is a prototype that will allow flight surgeons more options to treat ill or injured crewmembers during future long-duration exploration missions.
Trade studies were used to down-select different technologies based on minimizing mass, volume, and power requirements. Experiments were conducted in normal and short duration reduced gravity facilities to verify actual performance of the selected technologies.
Pressure driven systems with a gas-liquid separator and a DI (deionization) cartridge have been shown to generate Sterile Water for Injection per the United States Pharmacopeia (USP) standards. Furthermore, by pre-positioning a sterile magnetic stir bar and salt within an IV (intravenous) bag, the desired medical solution can be quickly and effectively generated.
Given the limitations with both the normal gravity and ground-based reduced gravity testing, these results need to be verified on orbit using a prototype. Further, an appropriate system level test should be conducted prior to deployment. Accordingly, the objectives of this experiment include the following:
• Produce an acceptable IV solution that meets USP requirements
• Verify on orbit, using available microgravity-compatible technology and techniques, the acceptability of that solution, and
• Obtain sufficient engineering data to permit scaling of the system per actual mission needs
• Demonstrate end-to-end system level performance
See also https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/research/experiments/explorer/Investigation.html?#id=689