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Protein Crystal Growth

Protein Crystal Growth

PCG-1 uses different protein crystal growth solutions in small crystal slides to grow protein crystals in microgravity. The slides are launched frozen, thawed on orbit to allow crystal growth, examined while on-orbit and then returned.

Customer Name: The Methodist Hospital Research Institute
Research: Protein Crystal Growth
NanoRacks Facility: NanoLab Platform
Mission Duration: 09/2012 – 09/2013
Mission Status: In Progress
More Info: From NASA website


Research Overview

NanoRacks-Protein Crystal Growth-1 (NanoRacks-PCG-1) utilizes different Protein Crystal Growth solutions in small crystal slides to grow protein crystals in microgravity.
The slides are launched frozen, thawed on orbit to allow crystal growth, examined while on-orbit and then returned.

Description

NanoRacks-Protein Crystal Growth-1 (NanoRacks-PCG-1) is a proprietary protein crystal growth experiment that utilizes state-of-the-art on-the-ground PCG procedures and hardware. NanoRacks-PCG-1 uses different PCG solutions in small crystal slides to grow protein crystals in microgravity. The slides are launched frozen, thawed on orbit to allow crystal growth, examined while on-orbit and then returned.

Operational Requirements

The protein growth in the Crystal Plates automatically initiates on-orbit when the Plates thaw. At least one analysis session with the Crystal Plates and the NanoRacks Microscope-2 facility is conducted to collect data on crystal growth. After the session is completed, the Crystal Plates are re-stowed.

Operational Protocols

NanoRacks Module-19 is soft-stowed in a Glacier at -95°C. Crew removes the module from Glacier and places it inside NanoRacks Platform-1. Thaw and crystal growth occur without crew interaction. The crew observes crystal growth status on the slides.

Read more here and at the NASA website.

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