A reactor for biotechnological processes under microgravity conditions (RF patent 2355751).
Further exploration of space and the planned long-term flights make it necessary to provide a closed biological cycle on space stations.
The study of development of live bio-objects under weightlessness conditions, which differs from that on the Earth, is another important scientific and applied task.
Biotechnological processes depend on gravity. The level of the Earth’s gravitation field becomes much lower under conditions of the space station flight about a highly elliptical orbit. These physical conditions influence bio-objects and cause fundamental changes in the processes of interphase interactions.
Experiments on the space stations “Salute” and “Soyuz” provided vast experimental material revealing significant genetic effects emerging under space flight conditions in insects, plants and microorganisms. The effect of microgravity on bio-objects was revealed at subcellular, cellular, organism and population levels.
The possibility of broad experimentation with bio-objects in space will provide information on the mechanisms of their adaptation and variability under weightlessness conditions and will allow us to seek a broad spectrum of applied solutions for the development of new technologies for life support in space and production of new materials and drugs, plants and organisms with new properties, etc.
This can become the basis for a new research field - space biotechnology.
The study of the growth of microorganisms and cell cultures under weightlessness conditions and the performance of various biotechnological processes require bioreactors capable of effective work under these conditions.
The performance of biotechnological processes under weightlessness conditions is a complex technical task. Creation of artificial gravity in existing types of bioreactors can provide neither high-quality mixing of the liquid phase nor good mass exchange by the gas phase. This is due to objectively existing physical laws.
The specialists of JSC “The Center of Vortex Technologies” developed and patented a gas-vortex reactor for biotechnological processes under microgravity conditions using a new principle of mixing – stirring by a concentrated air vortex.
Providing a closed biological cycle on space stations.
Creation of organisms and plants with new properties
Creation of drugs and biological materials with new properties, etc.
FSBI “The Yuri A. Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Research Center” successfully conducted flight tests of the gas-vortex bioreactor modified for technological processes under weightlessness conditions. The effect of the fluid mixing under microgravity conditions was achieved. This opens broad opportunities for the application of gas-vortex reactors to create a closed cycle for the cosmonaut’s life support and to produce materials and bio-objects with entirely new properties, etc. on the orbit.