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The Solution Crystallisation Diagnostics Facility, a European Facility for Microgravity Research on Structures from Solutions on Board the ISS

V. Pletser1, R. Bosch2, L. Potthast2, R. Kassel3

Payloads and Platforms Div., Research Operations Dept, Human Spaceflight, Microgravity and Exploration Directorate, ESA-ETEC, HME-GML, P.O. Box 299, NL-2200 AG Noordwijk, TheNetherlands.
EADS Space Transportation System, Friedrichshafen, Germany.
Verhaert Design & Development, Kruibeke, Belgium.

Fluid Dynamics & Materials Processing 2006, 2(1), 65-76. https://doi.org/10.3970/fdmp.2006.002.065

Abstract

Orbital weightless conditions have been shown to yield better and larger crystals. The Solution Crystallization Diagnostics Facility (SCDF) is a third generation instrument developed by ESA and dedicated to the observation and study with advanced diagnostics nucleation and crystallisation processes of molecules from solutions on board the International Space Station. The SCDF is intended to be used for studies of proteins and large biomolecules, and more generally of any kind of molecules growing from solutions, using the powerful set of diagnostics means available in the SCDF platform. Several protein crystallisation reactors have been developed to study protein and macro-biomolecules assembling sequences. An experiment assembly devoted to the study of formation of zeolites is under study and other dedicated experiment assemblies are considered for future development. Ground models of the SCDF have been developed with similar capabilities to allow scientists to train with the reactors, experiment assemblies and diagnostics available in the SCDF.

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Pletser, V., Bosch, R., Potthast, L., Kassel, R. (2006). The Solution Crystallisation Diagnostics Facility, a European Facility for Microgravity Research on Structures from Solutions on Board the ISS. FDMP-Fluid Dynamics & Materials Processing, 2(1), 65–76.



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