Contract activities on ISS Russian Segment

Experiment MIA

The goal of this experiment is to determine the effect of microgravity on both the ability of adherent monocytes to migrate on a surface (Motion), as well as to interact with T-cells (Interact). Monocyte locomotion is important in immune function, since monocytes need to bind to tissue surfaces and then migrate through them. Additionally, interaction of monocytes with T-lymphocytes is important for the co-stimulatory signal (2nd signal). The experiment consists of two components: In the Motion experiment a monocyte cell line will be incubated on a colloid gold substrate. As the monocytes migrate they remove the colloid gold, leaving a track on the substrate which records the cell motion. The experiment will be terminated in-flight by addition of formaldehyde fixative. The Interact experiment will mix T-cell and monocyte cells and samples will be fixed at two time intervals. Post-flight, the clustering of T-cells with monocytes as well as the distribution of adhesion receptors on each cell type will be observed by microscopy.


Investigate the interactions of monocytes and T-lymphocytes (calf serum cells) under microgravity.


  • Investigate the interactions of monocytes and T-lymphocytes to test the hypothesis that reduced cell-cell interactions might be one of the reasons for observed depression in lymphocyte in-vitro activation under micro-gravity.
  • Study the motility and changes in the cytoskeletal structures of monocytes.

Science Hardware Used:

  • KUBIK 1 incubator with the power cable;
  • MIA Biocontainers (7);
  • MIA activation key;
  • Cryogem-03M refrigerator/temperature controller container.


  • Biokit 1.

Support Equipment:

  • Glovebox.

Experiment Results:

Biology containers (7) returned to the ground.

Expected Results:

The experiment will extend the data on the mechanism of immune response.

ISS Crew