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Microfluidic Devices for Chemical and Biochemical Analysis in MicrogravityOne often touted benefit of "Lab-on-a-Chip" devices is their potential for use in remote environments. The ultimate remote environment is outer space, and NASA has multiple needs in the area of analytical sensing capability in such an environment. In particular, we are interested in integrating microfluidic devices with NASA bioreactor systems. In such an integrated system, the microfluidic device will serve as a biosensor and be used for both feedback control and for detecting various bioproducts produced by cells cultured in the NASA bioreactors. As a first step in demonstrating the ability of microfluidic devices to operate under the extreme environmental conditions found in outer space, we constructed a portable, battery operated platform for testing under reduced gravity conditions on a NASA KC-135 reduced gravity research aircraft, (AKA "the vomit comet"). The test platform consisted of a microchip, two 0-8kV high voltage power supplies, a high voltage switch, a solid-state diode-pumped green laser, a channel photomultiplier, and an inertial mass measurement unit, all under the control of a laptop computer and powered by 10 D-cell alkaline batteries. Over the course of 4 KC-135 flights, 1817 fast electrophoretic separations of 4 amino acids and/or proteins were performed in a variety of gravitational environments including zero-G, Martian-G, lunar-G, and 2-G. Results from these experiments will be presented and discussed.
Document ID
Document Type
Conference Paper
Roman, Gregory T. (Kansas State Univ. Manhattan, KS, United States)
Culbertson, Christopher T. (Kansas State Univ. Manhattan, KS, United States)
Meyer, Amanda (Kansas State Univ. Manhattan, KS, United States)
Ramsey, J. Michael (Oak Ridge National Lab. TN, United States)
Gonda, Steven R. (NASA Johnson Space Center Houston, TX, United States)
Date Acquired
August 23, 2013
Publication Date
January 1, 2004
Subject Category
Man/System Technology and Life Support
Meeting Information
28th International Symposium on High Performance Liquid Phase Separations and Related Techniques
Funding Number(s)
OTHER: 101-31-GN-DA
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