MidiCAR Cell / Tissue Culture Centrifuge
The Medium Sized Centrifuge for Acceleration Research (MidiCAR) is a dedicated centrifuge in which samples may be exposed to accelerations up to 100 times Earth's gravity.
The facility is accommodated in a temperature-controlled incubator and driven by dedicated software. Gravity levels may be chosen according specific user requirements, either static or dynamic. The system may be applied for short term (seconds) or long term (weeks) studies. Dedicated experiment vessels are compatible with standard laboratory tissue / cell culture hardware but also flight specific modules may be accommodated. Data and power lines are available on the rotating and static positions. Both rotating and static control samples are housed in the same environment.
The MidiCAR centrifuge slide out of its incubator
Schematic layout of the MidiCAR centrifuge.
A: Side view: a: incubator, b: motor, c: slip ring set, d: static control cultures, e: experiment vessels, f: two levels of rotor arms. B: Top view: bc: core structure and housing slipring and motor, g: valves for flushing culture vessels, h: water seal for reducing over-pressure in vessels.
For standard experiments it is preferred
to use standard lab disposables as experiment container. When more sophisticated
tasks need to be performed that cannot be adopted to standard lab plastics it
is possible to use more flight like experiment containers such as LIDIAs
or plunger boxes.
Future experiments on the MidiCAR could make use of developments that have taken place within the Technology Development Program at ESA/ESTEC. Various hardware items for gravitation biology, such as small microscopes, video cameras, cell / tissue / plant culture modules, insect modules etc., have been developed. These modules might be used on the Random Positioning Machine to investigate how biological systems will respond to simulated microgravity. See the ESA web site for detailed information on these items, or contact us for their use on the MidiCAR (or the or RPM / FFM).
MidiCAR Detailed Description
All facilities mentioned are open to perform your individual, dedicated, experiments or for collaborative studies. When you are interested to perform a series of (pilot) studies using the MidiCAR centrifuge you are invited to contact us and discuss various possibilities. You may also directly send an experiment proposal either to DESC or respond to one of the international 'Announcements of Opportunities' (AO) as are in general annually issued by the European Space Agency (ESA) or other space agencies. You may also apply via an unsolicited proposal to ESA via the 'fast track' Continuously Open Research Announcements. You may contact us when you need any support for this. Dutch scientists may also apply nationally via a NSO-NWO proposal. An additional copy of the proposal has to be provided to DESC for technical and operational evaluations.
The MidiCAR centrifuge is developed by Dutch Space (former Fokker Space), Leiden,