HOUSTON – June 4, 2018 (NanoRacks PR) – Early last week, NanoRacks worked with International Space Station crew member Ricky Arnold to complete the first phase of the Barrios Protein Crystal Growth (Barrios PCG) experiment via NanoRacks’ third generation microscope. The Barrios PCG experiment is a joint project between Barrios Technology and NanoRacks.
The Barrios PCG investigation, in the first of three phases, tested the feasibility of the use of 96-well crystallization plates on orbit, as well as the protein crystal growth yielded from these plates. The investigation uses commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) microplates, and specifically tested the ability to pipette small amounts of fluids (about 10 microliters) into the plate in microgravity.
The pipetting and mixing process was recorded by the crew for analysis by the principle investigator.
This first phase involved mixing a blue dye with four solutions of varying viscosities. Ricky Arnold also tested two different methods of mixing the solutions after they were already placed in the wells. Pipetting, while a common technique in protein crystal labs on the ground, is still a new process in microgravity.
“Barrios PCG is a major step in the advancement of microgravity protein crystal growth,” says NanoRacks’ Chief Scientist Dr. Carl ...