@UNamur – Marc Guillaume

Validation of the Rob-2 experiment at Biotesc

The teams of UNamur, Kayser Italia and ESA met in January 2020 at Biotesc in Lucern (Switzerland) to validate the Rob-2 experiment of rotifers.

Before the validation experiment at Biotesc, Lucie Bruneau and Boris Hespeels (UNamur team) had to desiccate the Adineta vaga individuals in their laboratory at UNamur on LMP agarose.

After desiccation, the rotifers were irradiated with 500Gy X-ray at LARN, UNamur.

The dried and irradiated Adineta vaga individuals were brought to Lucern on dry ice in the transport hardware designed by Richard Coos, LARN engineer at UNamur.

Upon arrival at Biotesc the dried rotifers were stored at -80°C till integration in the Rob-2 modules designed by Kayser Italia.

Water and salad juice was also added to the module for future rehydration of the rotifers.

In total, 20 Rob-2 modules were assembled during 2 days at Biotesc. After assembly, Kayser italia did all the quality control checks. In the end, 16 Rob-2 modules were validated.

@UNamur – Marc Guillaume

@UNamur – Marc Guillaume

The simulation of the space flight planned in 2020 could then be started at Biotesc:

1) cold storage of the Rob-2 modules at 3°C (till  8°C),

2) transfer of Rob-2 to the KUBIK (@ 21°C),

3) automatic rehydration of all the Adineta vaga individuals in the Rob-2 modules at 21°C,

4) after 4 days of rehydration, the verification samples are transferred to -80°C to stop the experiment (those samples are for the DNA repair study),

5) after 11 days of rehydration, the remaining sampes are transferred to -80°C (to study the genome of the descendants).

Half of the Rob-2 modules in this experiment are placed in microgravity, the other half on a centrifuge simulating earth gravity.