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Development status of life marker chip for ExoMars
University of Leicester.
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2012 (English)In: Planetary and Space Science, ISSN 0032-0633, E-ISSN 1873-5088, Vol. 72, 129-137 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The Life Marker Chip (LMC) is one of the instruments being developed for possible flight on the 2018 ExoMars mission. The instrument uses solvents to extract organic compounds from samples of martian regolith and to transfer the extracts to dedicated detectors based around the use of antibodies. The scientific aims of the instrument are to detect organics in the form of biomarkers that might be associated with extinct life, extant life or abiotic sources of organics. The instrument relies on a novel surfactant-based solvent system and bespoke, commercial and research-developed antibodies against a number of distinct biomarkers or molecular types. The LMC comprises of a number of subsystems designed to accept up to four discrete samples of martian regolith or crushed rock, implement the solvent extraction, perform microfluidic-based multiplexed antibody-assays for biomarkers and other targets, optically detect the fluorescent output of the assays, control the internal instrument pressure and temperature, in addition to the associated instrument control electronics and software. The principle of operation, the design and the instrument development status as of December 2011 are reported here. The instrument principle can be extended to other configurations and missions as needed.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Elsevier, 2012. Vol. 72, 129-137 p.
Keyword [en]
Mars, ExoMars, Extraterrestrial life, Astrobiology, Life Marker Chip
National Category
Other Earth and Related Environmental Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-83113DOI: 10.1016/j.pss.2012.04.007OAI: diva2:574075
Available from: 2012-12-04 Created: 2012-12-04 Last updated: 2013-02-20Bibliographically approved

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Holm, Nils
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