Carbondale-made bags to be used for research aboard International Space Station – The Southern

Posted: August 25, 2017 at 3:43 am

CARBONDALE Products manufactured in Carbondale arrived at the International Space Station last week.

Com-Pac International, Inc., which manufactures flexible packaging products for the medical and laboratory specimen-handling industries, was notified by NASA earlier this month that scientists will be using the companys BITRAN leak-proof specimen bags for a research project aboard the ISS.

The products were included on SpaceXs 12th cargo resupply mission, which launched Aug. 14 from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The cargo ship docked at the ISS on Aug. 16.

Its a very exciting thing that something as local as our small town of Carbondale is going to be on the Space Station, said Com-Pac Business Development Manager Diana Isaacs.

The research project involves the study of a protein linked to Parkinsons disease. On Earth, gravity keeps the protein, known as LRRK2, too small for effective study. Using automated biotechnology devices, scientists will grow larger versions of the protein in the micro-gravity environment of space, according to an overview of the project on NASAs website.

The proteins will be returned to Earth for analysis to aid in the development of therapies to combat Parkinsons disease.

We are certainly very pleased that NASA has chosen to utilize our products aboard the ISS, but are additionally pleased that the products we make right here in Carbondale could contribute to finding a cure for Parkinsons disease, said Com-Pac President Greg Sprehe in a news release.

According to the release, Com-Pacs bags were chosen because they can remain leak-proof even after multiple openings and closings during freezing and thawing cycles.

This bag is made out of a special resin, plastic, its called EVOH, and it has a very low oxygen transmission rate, which is the rate oxygen can transfer through the plastic itself, Isaacs said.

Com-Pac, located in Carbondales industrial park, has worked with NASA for several years; the agency has utilized several of the companys specimen-style bags in the past, Isaacs said.

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Carbondale-made bags to be used for research aboard International Space Station – The Southern

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