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Small Business Innovation Research/Small Business Tech Transfer

Rodent Centrifuge Facility for ISS Life and Microgravity Science Research, Phase I

Completed Technology Project

Project Introduction

According to the decadal report titled, Life and Physical Sciences Research for a New Era of Space Exploration, a Report, "…the AHB Panel would be remiss if it did not strongly recommend an animal centrifuge capable of accommodating rats/mice at variable gravity levels." In response, Techshot proposes to develop a Rodent Centrifuge Facility (RCF) that utilizes eight EXPRESS Rack locker locations. Requiring only minor assembly on orbit, the large Techshot rodent centrifuge will consist of two separate four-locker pieces called quad housing units. The centrifuge rotor will accommodate as many as 14 modular rodent cages, which can be customized to accommodate either grouped (28 rats- 200 gram animals, 42 mice- 25 gram animals) or 14 individually-housed rats (up to 400 gram) or mice. Each cage will include ad libitum feeding, automated ad libitum water, LED day/night cycling, forced-air waste collection and environmental control, and continuous video monitoring. Animal access will be accomplished by the removal of individual cages, which will fit into a portable glovebox that can be installed on the front of the rodent centrifuge facility or at the ISS Microgravity Science Glovebox (MSG). The facility will be designed for a minimum of 30 days of unattended operation, and the accommodation of experiments lasting up to 90 days. More »

Anticipated Benefits

Primary U.S. Work Locations and Key Partners

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Project Duration

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