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Tuesday, February 2 • 15:55 - 16:15
Remote-Controlled Miniaturized Nanosatellite Lab Platforms for Microgravity Research

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The microgravity conditions of space offers a unique environment to perform drug research with the potential to lead to new therapeutic products. Microgravity provides an opportunity for experimentation in the absence of thermally-induced convection, no sedimentation/stratification, no hydrostatic pressure, and reduced contact with vessel walls. The potential scientific, technological and commercial benefits of microgravity research to humankind are substantial, especially in the drug discovery sector and will revolutionize traditional Earth-bound processing methods. 

Today access to microgravity research is limited to government space agencies, performed only by astronauts at the International Space Station, very expensive, long waiting list and the process involves a lot of bureaucracy. SpacePharma approach is to simplify this complicated process making it more accessible, affordable and valuable, bypassing the obstacles through remote-controlled nanosatellite microgravity lab platforms commanded and controlled from ground by the scientists. 

SpacePharma has developed sophisticated end-to-end miniaturized lab systems provided with sensors and readers capable of working in different microgravity platforms, ground simulators, parabolic flights, and nano-satellites. All experiments are remotely controlled and commanded by the users using SpacePharma’s scientist front-end proprietary software installed in a laptop or smartphone. Scientists can see the results using miniature readers like light microscope or spectrometer incorporated close to the reaction chamber. Customized lab-on-chips microfluidics-based fluid handling system generating microdroplets are used to perform colloidal chemistry or biological experiments increasing significantly the magnitude of microgravity research in the near future. 

Under conditions of microgravity, symptoms develop more rapidly and therefore solutions can be accelerated. For example, in microgravity bacterial virulence and pathogenicity increases, and several bacteria were shown to become more resistant to common antibiotics presenting enhanced biofilm formation. Thus, microgravity has the potential to lead to the identification of novel regulation of genes, providing new potential targets for vaccine and development of new antibiotic drugs. 

Microgravity allows for optimal growth of unique, orderly, and high-quality crystal structures of proteins in the absence of gravity or convection to disrupt their growth resulting in the discovery of more potent drug inhibitors. Ion-channels are sensitive to gravity changes, therefore, pharmacological ion-channel model assays under microgravity would facilitate drug screening and discovery. 

Preliminary feasibility studies have shown the ability of SpacePharma’s SatLabs to perform chemical reactions, protein/drug crystallization, self-assembling of macromolecules, enzymatic reactions, bacterial growth and stem cell culturing using a variety of generic lab-on-chip microfluidic devices.

avatar for Eva-Jane Lark

Eva-Jane Lark

Vice-President, BMO Nesbitt Burns.
Eva-Jane Lark is a Vice-President and Wealth Advisor with BMO Nesbitt Burns, one of Canada's largest full-service investment firms. For over 25 years, she has provided expert advice to her clients on a wide variety of investment and wealth management issues.Since reviving her childhood... Read More →

avatar for Shimon Amselem

Shimon Amselem

Chief Scientific Officer, SpacePharma
Dr. Shimon Amselem is Chief Scientist at SpacePharma with 25 years of solid experience in the pharmaceutical industry in drug discovery and drug delivery systems. SpacePharma’s mission is to become a world leader in providing simplified, valuable and affordable, end-to-end microgravity... Read More →

Tuesday February 2, 2016 15:55 - 16:15 EST
Champagne Ballroom

Attendees (6)