Biotechnology in Space: Challenges and Opportunities for Solid Phase Gene Extraction
Karl H. Hasenstein,
Space exploration encounters numerous hurdles partially because of the need to adapt technologies originally designed for earth applications. The integration of space conditions and weightlessness provides opportunities for the development of new technologies and the adaptation of existing but space-friendly approaches for physical and biological processes. Improvements of Solid Phase Gene Extraction (SPGE) provide ideal conditions for sampling of biological material under space conditions where liquid handling is challenging and thus best avoided. SPGE is capable of fine-tuning gene expression studies without the need to sacrifice the biological material and can be used in a self-referencing mode. The technology can be combined with microfluidics systems to enable on-orbit assessment of gene expression studies that take advantage of qPCR, minimize fluid handling, and retain fluids in a controlled environment.
Keywords: High gradient magnetic fields, gene expression, q-PCR, solid phase gene extraction, weightlessness.
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