Space Bioengineering: Simulated Microgravity Platform to Advance Humans in Space

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  • 2022

  • Engineering

Designed In:

Australia

The EXPLOR Biogravity platform simulates microgravity (10-3g) of space but down here on Earth to allow researchers to study the human physiological, diseases and plant response to microgravity so that we can develop technologies to advance human space flight while improving health on Earth.


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Image: Sample holder design
Image: Biological sample holder design
Image: Illustration showcasing samples with device
Image: Packaging design to ensure easy and safe packaging and delivery
  • CHALLENGE
  • SOLUTION
  • IMPACT
  • MORE
  • The existing simulated microgravity technologies have not been updated for the last 20 years. One of the key challenges was to ensure that we can achieve the microgravity condition at the cellular level and a platform that is able to be applied for different research conditions and scientific questions. We wanted a plug-and-play device that is ergonomic and allow our users to be able to focus on their applications than spend time trying to figure out how the device works and function. This is also to be complemented by an easy user software interface.

  • To sustain accurately the microgravity condition in the device we applied satellite tracking robotic technologies and stepper motors to ensure long-term durability of the device. To date, our machine have operated non-stop for 4 years and only required a simple yearly application of motor oil. it is made of anodized aluminium for light-weight and durability. Our team developed a modular sample holder system that allows users to utilize existing materials and equipment directly without changing their application model. Our platform is to democratize space biology development and cater to user needs.

  • The Biogravity device now used by world space agencies including NASA and JAXA, government institutions (CSIRO, ANSTO) and world renown research institutions including MIT, Harvard and Mayo Clinic. Our device is now at the forefront of space biology and health discoveries owing to how it was designed to cater for different users and with human centric design in mind. In addition, pharmaceutical companies in the United States and Japan are planning to use the Biogravity platform to develop and design new class of drugs that would not be possible on Earth. The impact is out of this world.

  • Our latest advancement in our Biogravity platform is we are able to simulate space launch conditions of hypergravity and also the gravity of the Moon to investigate the effects of lunar biology. This is crucial as there are a number of international manned missions planned for the moon. Our design and technology will allow faster advancement of understanding on the effects of different microgravity so we can uncover and discover a new world of biology, chemistry and physics that will impact the types of products and healthcare solutions we can achieve here on Earth.