New Opportunities for Measurement Systems Thanks to New Trends in Space Laboratories


  • Isabelle Walther
  • Nico de Rooij
  • Bart van der Schoot
  • Augusto Cogoli



Bioreactor, Microtechnology, Sensor, Space biology, Titration


Space biology is a young discipline that is strongly evolving thanks to the development of new measuring devices. The use of instruments equipped with new sensors and new technologies gives the opportunity to follow and understand better the experiments performed. Starting about three decades ago with relatively simple experiments aboard space laboratories like Spacelab, in the MIR station, as well as aboard biosatellites and sounding rockets, bioprocessing in space is becoming one of the interesting themes for the exploitation of the International Space Station, ISS. It nourishes hypotheses and speculations on possible commercial and medical applications. A few pharmaceutical companies manifested their interest in joint application research programs with universities and national and international space agencies. It is believed that low-g may contribute in two aspects to progress in this field: first, as a useful and non invasive tool to study important and still obscure biological events like signal transduction, gene expression, and cell proliferation. Second, low-g may favor the mass production of single cells by obtaining higher cell densities per unit culture volume as well as a smooth cell–cell aggregation and three-dimensional organogenesis in the absence of sedimentation and shear forces. Technology of a high standard has to be used to obtain the best possible result in the restricted space of the ISS Laboratory. Often new space instrumentations can trigger earth-bound development and applications.




How to Cite

I. Walther, N. de Rooij, B. van der Schoot, A. Cogoli, Chimia 2005, 59, 247, DOI: 10.2533/000942905777676533.