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Astrobio Cubesat (ABCS)

Astrobio Cubesat [La Sapienza University of Rome]

Astrobio Cubesat or ABCS is an Italian technology demonstration 3U CubeSat by the La Sapienza University of Rome hosting a mini laboratory payload based on lab-on chip technology.

The objective of the Astrobio Cubesat project is to test an automatic laboratory based on lab-on-chip technology, able to provide a highly integrated in-situ multiparameter platform that uses immunoassay tests exploiting chemiluminescence detection. To perform the experiment, a paper-based later flow device will be used. The paper-based support will contain:

  • biomolecules immobilized in specific test areas (i.e., enzyme in experiment 3, antibody in experiment 4, see the experiment list below);
  • chemicals deposited in a non-permanent fashion and in a dry form in the initial part (starting area) of the microfluidic path (e.g., luminol and potassium ferricyanide): when the
  • reagents-delivery-system provides a volume of a reagent or sample in the liquid form to the starting area, capillary forces will capture the liquid reagents and force them to flow along the paper-based microfluidic pathway. During the flow, liquid reagents will solubilize and transport along the path the deposited reagents, thus triggering specific reactions. As photon emission signals are recorded as a result of correct experiment execution, a photosensor will always be present in correspondence of each test area to detect the chemiluminescence reaction.

The experiments will aim at evaluating:

  • the functional tests of the device (delivery of reagents, mixing of chemicals, detection of emitted photons, electronics, data storage and transmission);
  • the stability of chemicals and biomolecules employed in the experiment and necessary for performing bioassays (e.g., immunoassays exploiting chemiluminescence detection) in space conditions for astrobiological investigations.
Nation: Italy
Type / Application: Technology, life sciences
Operator: La Sapienza University of Rome
Contractors: La Sapienza University of Rome
Configuration: CubeSat (3U)
Propulsion: None
Power: Solar cells, batteries
Satellite COSPAR Date LS Launch Vehicle Remarks
Astrobio Cubesat (ABCS) 2022-080C 13.07.2022 Ko ELV Vega-C with LARES 2, GreenCube, CELESTA, TRISAT R, MTCube 2, ALPHA


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