Rodent Centrifuge Facility Quad Locker for ISS Life and Microgravity Science Research

Award Information
Agency: National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Branch: N/A
Contract: 80NSSC18C0137
Agency Tracking Number: 174230
Amount: $782,963.00
Phase: Phase II
Program: SBIR
Solicitation Topic Code: H8
Solicitation Number: SBIR_17_P2
Timeline
Solicitation Year: 2017
Award Year: 2018
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2018-06-22
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2020-06-21
Small Business Information
7200 Highway 150, Greenville, IN, 47124-9515
DUNS: 621970383
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Rachel Ormsby
 (812) 728-8122
 rormsby@techshot.com
Business Contact
 Juanita Melton
Phone: (812) 923-9591
Email: jmelton@techshot.com
Research Institution
N/A
Abstract

According to the decadal report titled, Life and Physical Sciences Research for a New Era of Space Exploration, a Report, "...the AHB Panel would be remiss if it did not strongly recommend an animal centrifuge capable of accommodating rats/mice at variable gravity levels." Furthermore, the panel stated, “...research on animal models will be constrained without the ability to manipulate the gravity variable as a factor modulating the fundamental processes underlying organ system homeostasis.” In response, Techshot has proposed to develop an innovative Rodent Centrifuge Facility (RCF-QL) that utilizes four locker locations (Quad Locker) in the EXPRESS Rack for life science research. The counter-balanced centrifuge is designed to provide a facility to allow rats and mice to live and be observed in simulated gravity between 0-1 g for up to 90 days. This streamlined design is more cost efficient and provides up to five cages. Each cage can accommodate at least six 30 gram mice, three 200 gram rats, or two 400 gram rats per cage. Each individual cage has adlib food and water, controllable lighting, and video monitoring. The habitat is temperature controlled with constant airflow throughout the cages. Air flow entraps waste in a filter that also treats the waste for bacteria and odor. Additional air filters will remove odors and ammonium from the animal enclosure. The subsystems design will minimize crew time. Each subsystem requiring change-out during the 90 day experiment will be designed to be simple and intuitive in operations. The RCF-QL will be the only facility capable of providing group housing for rats and mice, with a medium diameter centrifuge (20 in., 0.508 m) and a large rotating cage volume (up to 850 in3, 13,929 cm3 for the cage). All hardware cage features are designed to utilize the NIH animal care and use standards.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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