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RESLEM/ROALD2 - The role of the Endocannabinoid System in human Lymphocytes Exposed to Microgravity

The RESLEM (Role of Endocannabinoid System in human Lymphocytes Exposed to Microgravity) experiment aims at investigating gene expression of the proteins involved in the metabolic control of Anandamide tone in human lymphocytes exposed to microgravity conditions. The aim is to determine the role of this lipid in the regulations of immune processes and in the cell cycle under microgravity conditions. In fact, Anandamide is a signal for the cells to make a choice between life and death and it might be a contributor responsible for the immune deficit observed in Space.

The experiment hardware, manufactured by Kayser Italia under ESA contract, is hosted in the centrifuge insert of the Kubik facility, an ESA incubator available in the Columbus module of the International Space Station.

 The flight set is composed of 8 Experiment Hardware (EH), 1 dummy unit for centrifuge balancing, 1 soft pouch for upload and download of EH. Since the EHs have to be uploaded at controlled temperature (>23°C), an additional soft pouch (BIOKIT)  with Phase Change Materials  cartridges is used to provide the necessary thermal control during the upload phase.The EH is composed of an experiment unit (EU) inserted in one Experiment Container  (EC). The experiment container, named KIC, has already been flown in several biological missions (BIO4, SPHINX).

The EH has been labelled as ROALD2 due to the commonality with an other experiment already executed on the ISS in 2008.The label

 

Each EU contains 4 Culture Chambers, 4 activator reservoirs and 4 fixative reservoirs. Required actions on the samples are fully autonomous: cell activation and fixation occur by liquids injection  by means of a spring controlled piston, the culture chamber volume simultaneously expands  due to the displacement of a floating piston.

The sequence of activation and fixation operations is controlled by a timeline loaded on the EU electronics before launch. After experiment execution the 8 EH are installed in MELFI at -80°C before re-entrywith Soyuz 28S.The same soft pouch is used to transport the 8 EH during upload and download.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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