For space biology OIP participated in several studies and projects for the miniaturization of microscope diagnostics for ESA since the ‘90ies. This resulted in the definition, development and demonstration of Miniature Microscopes (MiMi)
OIP, as a subcontractor to Dutch Space [NL], developed two demonstration models of a very compact microscope microscope system for the automatic observation of live biological samples over extended periods of time. OIP was responsible for the optical microscope subsystem. MiMi-100 aimed at accommodation inside the standard ISS Biolab container and MiMi-160 aimed at the standard container for the European Modular Cultivation System (EMCS). Both containers feature a 60×60 mm² cross section of the experiment accommodation volume and a length of 100 mm and 160 mm, respectively.
Notably from the successful MiMi-100 and MiMi-160 projects the important conclusion could be drawn that fully automated miniature (container based) microscopes, making use of commercial components, were entirely feasible.
Status: Completed (1997-1999)
Application: Technology Demonstrator (for ISS)