Gravitational Biology

Space simulation facilities

In addition to rather exclusive experiments under real microgravity conditions, different ground-based methods have been developed to achieve either the status of functional weightlessness or hypergravity (artificial gravity) conditions. The DLR Institute of Aerospace Medicine has a long-term experience in developing and using space simulation facilities: so-called clinostats enable the rotation of a sample perpendicular to the gravitational field assuming that a continuously reoriented biological system does not perceive the gravitational stimulus. The results of some experiments also performed in real microgravity conditions support this hypothesis.

Various clinostat devices have been constructed enabling a broad variety of experimental performances (e.g. microscopic observation of the sample during rotation in a clinostat). Combination with our irradiation facilities (see section Radiation Biology) enables the investigation of the combined effect of functional weightlessness and radiation. Correspondingly, different centrifuge devices - such as centrifuge microscope (NIZEMI = Niedergeschwindigkeits-Zentrifugenmikroskop) - complete our experimental scenario. Furthermore, the Institute of Aerospace Medicine is the facility responsible centre for Biolab, a laboratory facility on ISS. Biolab provides the possibility to investigate various cell types and small biological systems (plants and animals) under microgravity conditions.

DLR Supervisor

Prof. Dr. Ralf Anken
++49 2203-6013420
Email: Ralf Anken

PD Dr. Ruth Hemmersbach
++49 2203-6013094
Email: Ruth Hemmersbach

Dr. Sven Baerwalde
++49 2203 601 3130
Email: Sven Baerwalde

University Supervisor

PD Dr. Markus Braun
(University of Bonn)
++49 228-73-2686

Prof. Waldemar Kolanus (University of Bonn)

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