We are able to develop customized research hardware for commercial aircrafts. We developed an experimental system which allows cell culture experiments on board of an Airbus A300 during parabolic flight maneuvers. The experiment structure consists of large sets of double-containment cell culture bags, an incubator rack, an experiment rack and a cooling rack.
Primary importance was placed on the realization of the direct safety technique during the development activity. The racks have been manufactured for experiments with living mammalian cells during parabolic flights. They allow for the storage of cell culture compartments until the start of the experiment, injection of a fluid (e.g. an activator), and automatic injection of a second fluid (e.g. fixation) after a defined time interval. The module system accommodates up to 60 cell culture containers per flight. For multiple experiments it can be exchanged during the flight. The injection of all fluids is pre-programmed and operates automatically. Meanwhile, the researchers can supervise the experiments and perform the exchange of cell culture containers on board the parabolic flight. All procedures have been tested several times, they are highly standardized in accordance with an extensive and detailed standard protocol. The experiment system has been used successfully during 10 parabolic flight campaigns and it was continuously updated and improved.