Ring Sheared Drop (RSD)

Science Objective

The Ring Sheared Drop investigation examines the formation and growth of amyloids and fibrils without the complications associated with the solid walls of a container, because in microgravity, surface tension provides containment of the liquid. Fibrous, extracellular protein deposits found in organs and tissues, amyloids are associated with neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s. Results could contribute to better understanding of these diseases as well as to development of advanced materials.

Status

Delivery to the International Space Station via NG-16  

A silver laboratory structure with wires and controls, connected to two laptops
Abnormal fibrous, extracellular, proteinaceous deposits found in organs and tissues are associated with neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s. (“Amyloid fibril formation in microgravity: Distinguishing interfacial and flow effects” NNX13AQ22G). The Ring Sheared Drop investigation studies the biophysics of protein amyloidogenesis in the absence of gravity in order to study fibril formation at fluid interfaces, in the absence of solid walls.

Space Applications

In microgravity, it is possible to observe liquids without the influences of the solid walls of containers. As a crewed microgravity laboratory and test bed, the International Space Station offers a platform for research on liquids with a variety of applications, from human health to materials, contributing to the ongoing commercialization of the orbiting lab.

Earth Applications

Amyloids are associated with neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s. This investigation may contribute to a better understanding of these diseases and development of potential treatments.

Related Links

RSD in Space Station Research Explorer