The purpose of the Kirara service is to support drug discovery through the high-quality protein crystallisation in space using an original small incubator unit developed by JAMSS in ICE Cubes Facility on the International Space Station.
It is considered that crystallisation under microgravity is effective for improving the quality of crystals, since convection caused by the crystallisation will be suppressed controlled, leading to less chance of contamination of crystals.
Kirara offers a unique end-to-end service where a microgravity and crystallisation expert determines the ideal crystallisation conditions for the user and users are offered several options for returning their crystals for terrestrial testing – including having the same experts that set up the experiment performing X-ray diffraction on the crystals.
Kirara is already being used to perform drug discovery related to COVID-19. Crystallisation in the microgravity environment of the ISS leads to larger crystals, with a more rigid and ordered structure compared to those grown on Earth. The unique laboratory and environment of the ISS can be used to support the development of novel drugs that can be used to treat viral outbreaks or antibiotic
For more information, explore the links below.
Image credits: JAXA (Protein crystals formed in microgravity in the ISS Kibo Module)