CoolLED Illumination Systems are working their illumination magic all around the globe, but now we’ve gone one step further and a pE-300white Illumination System is orbiting the Earth on the International Space Station!
The controllable three-channel pE-300white provides illumination for widefield fluorescence on the Confocal Space Microscopy (COSMIC) system, which is built around the Leica DMi8 microscope. One of our resellers in Japan, who has been working on this project for many years, told us that the pE-300 Series Illumination System was chosen due to high irradiance, high stability and compact size– all important factors for a crucial space mission.
Life science research in outer space
There are two main research projects where COSMIC will be applied:
- Scientists are getting ever closer to developing organs from a patient’s own cells, which avoids issues surrounding availability and immune rejection. How cells organise themselves into 3D structures involves many complex factors, and utilising the microgravity environment is likely to reveal insights into the effect of gravity while also facilitating the development of 3D culture technology.
- Muscle atrophy and bone loss are two unfortunate side effects of spending time in outer space. By understanding the ways in which gravity is sensed at the cellular level, this may help develop ways to prevent or treat these conditions.