This technology will introduce the ability to carry out sample preparation for molecular biology tests from a variety of sample matrices (cell culture, plant tissue, blood, swab, etc). These NASA applications includes processing astronaut blood, urine, and other body fluids to isolate and identify infectious agents or for gene expression studies. Additional application can be found in monitoring water supplies or life support systems for microbial contamination. The technology is extensible and comprised of discrete components which can be adapted for multiple tasks related to fluid manipulation and sample processing.
Multiple levels of containment needed for ISS use can be incorporated into potential commercial applications that require DNA, RNA and protein isolation from highly infectious human samples. Segregation of samples from multiple applications of wash buffer during processing cycles, will reduce the number of disposables used and lab efficiency can be improved.