|Spinning blood device set to safeguard astronaut health|
|HARD / MEDICAL DEVICES / Friday, 11 November 2011 15:55|
A pinprick of blood is added to a mini-disc embedded with a wide variety of miniaturised test procedures. The disc is then inserted into the ‘point-of-care’ device and set spinning to spread the blood sample across the surface.
Multiple tests are performed simultaneously, with automated results delivered within a matter of minutes.
ESA is now looking to adapt the device for space, signing a contract with Irish company Radisens Diagnostics on 28 October. Additional tests will be added and the design developed for the space environment, such ensuring its spinning technique works satisfactorily in weightlessness.
“The retirement of the Space Shuttle has significantly reduced the amount of cargo we can download from the Station, so it makes sense to do what analysis we can do in orbit.”
This activity is being supported as part of ESA’s General Support Technology Programme (GSTP), which serves to mature promising prototypes into space-ready hardware.
In particular, the contract has come about through a dedicated scheme within the main programme: ‘GSTP-AO’ targets the development of market-oriented technologies, funded equally by ESA and the partner company.
Companies within participating ESA Member States are free to submit proposals at any time.
“It provides the framework to conduct space ‘spin-in’ as well as ‘spin-out’ and joint research with partner sectors, and the processes will be better tuned to facilitate open innovation.”
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|Last Updated on Friday, 11 November 2011 16:03|