The KEU-OC Experiment Unit is a device designed for supporting research on bone cells in microgravity. It is suitable for histological related studies.

It is equipped with reservoirs for chemicals (water, fixatives) and a culture chamber allowing the positioning of a bone slice. The scientific protocol is led by the KEU-OC electronics following a predefined timeline. At the end of the experiment the KEU-OC Experiment Unit can be stowed at controlled temperatures (freezer). After stowage and re-entry on Earth, bone slices can be recovered and analyzed by microscopy techniques as well as molecular biology-based approaches for genomic, transcriptomic and proteomic studies.



Fluidic systems  1
Fluidic actuators 2
Fluidic actuators type PLUNGERS
Fluidic reservoirs 2
Culture chambers 1
Levels of Containment (LoC) 1
Fluidic System Volume ask for information
Automatic control YES
On-Board Electronic Controller NO
Experiment Unit size ≈ 80x39x19 mm
Experiment Unit mass ≈ 99 grams (fully assembled)
Fits into KIC-SL (1 LoC)
Compatible Controller KAB



QUALIFIED FOR Unmanned Flight Carrier (Foton-M)
QUALIFIED FOR Unmanned Free-Flyers



So far, the KEU-OC Experiment Unit has been used to study the activity of the osteoclasts in microgravity.

 Each KEU-OC Experiment Unit (EU) is made of a semi-crystalline thermoplastic polymer with excellent mechanical and chemical resistance properties, biologically inert. Cross contamination among the chambers is avoided due to proper sealing gaskets. The EU itself provides one Level of Containment (LoC) that is increased to two by using KIC-SL containers class.

 The experiment does not require manual activations that shall be electrically controlled by a predefined timeline uploaded into the compatible KAB controller.

 On the whole, the actions performed by the fluidic system are led by preloaded spring actuators activated by the control electronics. Such mechanism releases the pistons inward displacing the fluid contained into the reservoir (Media Reservoir) towards the Culture Chamber (CC). To guarantee fluid injections within the CC a dedicated inner system of channels and valves gathers the exhausted growth medium (see figures below).The CC is connected to a reservoir provided with a floating piston to guarantee an expandable volume to allow fluid injection within the CC and independent media collecting.



2007 OCLAST PI Alberta Zallone (University of Bari)

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