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HemoCue WBC DIFF White Blood Cell Count and Differentiator Technology Demonstration (HemoCue_WBC_Demo)
Research Area:
Species Studied
Scientific Name: Homo sapiens Species: Human


White blood cell counts can give vital information about the body’s immune response. The HemoCue® WBC DIFF Analyzer is a commercial off the shelf (COTS) device to be utilized for a technology demonstration for counting white blood cells in a microgravity environment. This analyzer further differentiates the cell counts into 5 major types of White Blood Cells (WBC): Neutrophils (NEU), Lymphocytes (LYM), Monocytes (MON), Eosinophils (EOS), and Basophils (BAS). The body recruits these cells in varying amounts when needed. Thus, changes observed in the quantities and percentages of these 5 types of cells can be used to help identify infections, radiation effects, and responses to treatment.

The ability to measure white blood cells is currently an unmet need on the International Space Station (ISS) and for future exploration missions. Most in-flight blood tests on ISS are currently limited to blood draws taken just prior to undock being sent back to Earth for lab analysis within 48 hours utilizing instruments not practical for use in space. It was highlighted that spaceflight missions over extended time durations can have adverse effects on the human body that elevate the health risks of those astronauts involved. Prior to the completion of this technical demonstration, no instrument has been capable of measuring a WBC count and differential to meet NASA's medical requirements. 

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Biomedical technology
Blood cell count

Data Information
Data Availability
Archive is complete. Data sets are not publicly available but can be requested.
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Neutrophil count
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Mission/Study Information
Mission Launch/Start Date Landing/End Date Duration
Expedition 64 10/21/2020 04/16/2021 177 days

Additional Information
Managing NASA Center
Johnson Space Center (JSC)
Responsible NASA Representative
Johnson Space Center LSDA Office
Project Manager: Jessica Keune
Institutional Support
National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)
Proposal Date
Proposal Source
Directed Research