DLR - NIZEMI

The equipment consists of the Slow Rotating Centrifuge Microscope (Niedergeschwindigkeits-Zentrifugen-Mikroskop NIZEMI) for hyper-g experimentation in the range of 1 to 5 x g.

Microscopical and/or macroscopical parts allow observation of small organisms or systems up to a maximum sample size of approx. 40 mm. On-line observation during centrifugation is provided. In addition a Multi-sample Incubation Centrifuge (MusIC) for large amounts and numbers of samples is available. This centrifuge provides variable inner accommodation for small plant or animal organisms, aquatic vertebrates or invertebrates or physico-chemical systems.

For studies on the whole influence of gravity on life, in-house micro-g simulation equipment can be used with the same sample population.

NIZEMI offers various light-microscopical contrasting techniques such as bright/dark field, phase contrast, and differential interference contrast. The facility was initially designed for experiments in space, the flight model has been flown on the IML-2 mission in 1994.

MusIC provides up to four sample platforms (diameter 42 cm) and is especially designed for low rotation forces (i.e. up to 20 x g), though higher g forces are possible. A various number of samples, up to several hundreds of samples in the ml range, can be processed in parallel. For aquatic organisms a life support system consisting of water purification, aeration, feeding etc. is available. The temperature is controlled, light-dark cycles can be applied. Laboratories and equipment for the preparation and post-processing of experiments are available. A three-chamber-system for activation and fixation of samples (sample chamber for controlled processing) on rotating facilities (e.g. clinostats, centrifuges) can be offered, which handles defined volumes. Microscopical observation of this sample during processing is possible. As add-on support image processing systems for the analysis of the videos are offered, e.g. for standard image processing, movement analysis etc. The systems are programmable for experimenter defined aspects.

Last update: 23 January 2012

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