Astrobiological use of model crystals containing biomolecules and microbes: Testing analytical techniques and space exposure experiments

A. D. Wilkins*, A. Wright, J. Parnell, R. Artz

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalConference article

2 Citations (Scopus)


Evaporites are proposed as an important target for astrobiological exploration as they both occur in meteorites and are thought to be a significant component of Martian soils. Many strategies exist for the search of life on Mars in particular the detection of organic biomolecules. We show that evaporite minerals can be grown in the laboratory, encapsulating organic compounds and/or bacteria, which can act as model crystals for testing analytical techniques in astrobiology, including Raman spectroscopy, gas chromatography-mass spectrometry, time-of-flight mass spectrometry, immunoassay, and molecular imprinted polymer sensors, and also exposure experiments in space.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)567-568
Number of pages2
JournalEuropean Space Agency, (Special Publication) ESA SP
Issue number518
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2002
EventProceedings of the Second European Workshop on Exo-Astrobiology - Graz, Austria
Duration: 16 Sep 200219 Sep 2002


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Space and Planetary Science

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