Crew members on the International Space Station (ISS) are continually monitored for health changes, and as part of these measurements, they have to take saliva samples that are stored and returned to Earth later. The ISS Non-invasive Sample Investigation and results Transmission to ground with the Utmost easiness (IN SITU) bioanalysis is a portable device that can check crew members’ saliva on board, enabling direct real-time analysis. The device’s first uses are to monitor stress levels among crew members.
The device developed within the ISS Non-invasive Sample Investigation and results Transmission to ground with the Utmost easiness (IN SITU) provides the ability to perform diagnostic tests and biomedical research involving the analysis of biosamples directly within ISS, rather than collecting and storing samples for analysis upon their return to Earth.
In particular, the main goal is the ability to perform immunological analyses on easily collectable biosamples, such as saliva, using a simple portable analytical device which employs disposable and ready-to-use analytical cartridges.
The research focuses on an important indicator of stress (salivary cortisol). Saliva samples are collected, loaded into the analytical cartridge and immediately analyzed.
The availability of the developed analytical device is beneficial not only for space applications, but also for any kind of critical situations on Earth (e.g., emergency medicine, bioterrorism, diagnostics in developing countries).