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AIM (Artery In Microgravity): An ICE Cubes Mission by University Students

Drayson, Olivia and Bernardini, Nicolo and Bakkali, Amina and Cipolletta, Alessandro and Dalfo Ferrer, Blanca and Falcone, Federico and Gabetti, Stefano and Genoni, Michele and Torta, Elena and Vagnone, Federica and Aguzzi, Manuela and Audas, Chloé and Compin, Matthieu and Favier, Jean-Jacques and Lizy-Destrez, Stéphanie and Morbiducci, Umberto AIM (Artery In Microgravity): An ICE Cubes Mission by University Students. (2019) In: 3rd SSEA, 16 April 2019 - 18 April 2019 (Leicester, United Kingdom).

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Abstract

The ICE Cubes Facility is a capable experiment platform on board the Columbus Module of the International Space Station that offers flexibility to host many different experiments. The ICE Cubes Facility is suited for any scientific research and technological demonstrator that requires the study of the effects of microgravity and radiation exposure in a pressurised volume. The ICE Cube Service is also open to different schooling levels (primary, secondary, universities) and to different STEAM curricula and offers University students (Master and PhD) the opportunity to design, develop, test and operate a real experiment for the ISS under the supervision of experts from the ICE Cube Service.The Artery In Microgravity (AIM) project is a 2U ICE Cubes experiment cube and the first experiment to be selected for the Orbit Your Thesis! programme of ESA Academy. The cube is expected to be launched on SpaceX-20 in early 2020. The project is being developed by an international group of students from ISAE-Supaero and Politecnico di Torino. The experiment will investigate coronary heart disease, the most common form of cardiovascular disease and the cause of approximately 9 million deaths every year. In view of the very long duration missions to come, such diseases may also affect healthy astronauts in space. The AIM cube is a test-bench for investigating haemodynamics in microgravity and will study the effects of microgravity on blood flow in the coronary artery with and without an implanted coronary stent and the impact of augmented radiation levels on metallic ion release from coronary stents.The experimental setup consists of a closed hydraulic loop containing two models of a coronary artery in series. An electric pump and reservoir will control the flow of a blood-mimicking fluid through the system. One model of the coronary artery will contain a coronary stent. The pressure of the fluid will be studied along its path using a series of pressure sensors and a camera will visualise the flow. Ground tests will be conducted concurrently in order to perform a comparison between the on-ground behaviour and the behaviour in microgravity.The paper will showcase the design and development of the AIM experiment cube, the results of testing and the educational applications of theICE Cubes Facility.

Item Type:Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Audience (conference):International conference proceedings
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Deposited On:26 Apr 2021 18:41

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