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

Hoshide  AkihikoHoshide

leg Novitskiy Novitskiy

Petr Dubrov Dubrov

Mark Vande Hei Vande Hei

Robert Shane

Megan McArthur McArthur