"We have chosen to go to the Moon!" Over the past few weeks, we've heard of it a lot, as well as celebrations in the United States and media coverage all over the world to mark a special day in people's lives: when 50 years ago, the first man on the moon. But President John F. Kennedy's famous slogan was delivered seven years before this successful mission, seven years before Neil Armstrong put his left foot on the rocky moon, proving that preparation and dedication can do everything for mankind. The same applies to other innovative areas such as bioprinting. If scientists ever manage to develop functional organs, it may take time and a lot of work to get there. Today, many researchers work with three-dimensional bioprinters in an attempt to produce human organs but encounter some challenges. So, if we take the gravity of the equation?
With a commercial supplier of NASA SpaceX launched its 18th Supply a mission to the International Space Station (ISS) on Wednesday, July 24, had a number of preliminary activities. for Tuesday, gene Boland, chief scientist at Techshot, and Ken Church, CEO at nScrypt, discussed Bioproduction Facility (BFF), which is designed to print organo-like tissues in microgravity, and will be part of a 5000 pound load targeting the ISS this week. The space ship Space X's Dragon will be filled with supplies to astronauts as well as useful loads including critical materials that will support dozens of over 250 research studies to be conducted during an expedition of 60 and beyond this. Some of them will have a direct impact on people's lives here on Earth, while others will support NASA's plans to explore the Moon to Mars.
"We plan to use BFF in orbit to print cells (extracellular matrices), cultivate them and give them enough maturity, so that when they return to Earth we can face a full heartbeat. The tissue of this size has never been grown here, not to mention microgravity, so when we meet again in about 45 days, we'll let you know what happened.auxiliary churchNASA social, WhatIs turned on Board " a scientific briefing from the Kennedy Space Center at Port Canaveral, Florida, where many of the pre-training activities took place.
BFF is trampoline in the long run to produce whole human organs in space using refined biological techniques for 3D printing. So how does it work? Microgravity provides a potential third solution for printing complex organ structures, with minimal gravity eliminating the need for skeletal structures to support complex tissue forms. BFF has three separate modules, cell printing is done on the left side of the machine while the top is a separate unit where the printing material is incubated. It is used in connection with existing Techshot bioreactor cassettes that hold the printed tissues for several weeks after the initial seal, allowing the tissues to form coherent forms at the cellular level. During this incubation period, the cassettes are housed in the Techshot Advanced Space Processor (ADSEP). And finally, his the maturation process that turns the structure into a fabric.
"We know that SpaceX has a great launcher and return vehicle, but unfortunately it's not a softback vehicle, so what we need to do is incubate the cells for a while in space. This means we will print biomaterial printed chemically, mechanically and electrically. These three signals will transform the bioprinting structure into tissue because what comes out of a bio-printer is not tissue, it will never be fabricated, it will be just a construct because we just put blocks down and then we need to step back and allow the biology to do what it does, "explained Bolland.
"As smart as we think biology will always be smarter. And that's what our bioreactor will do, put those signs where and when they are needed and long enough to be able to return the tissues to the Earth and observe what's going on. Our goal is to produce tissue that is more than one centimeter thick (more than 10 times more than what we can print today) and we believe that microgravity will be the key to building it without requires an external structure, "he continued.
The church says they hope that the heart tissue that beats will return to Earth from the BFF in space. But why the heart tissue, not the muscle tissue? Experts say the heart is "a pretty simple pump," and most of Bolland's team has a cardiovascular background, so it's natural for them to work with this specific type of tissue.
"In the end, we think we'll print a heart, which really is where we go. But the equipment is really ready to deal with tissues in general, so if you are doing tissue engineering experiments and want to test them in space, welcome your new BFF! "He said the Church.
A one-way trip to space is taking place for a while in the Bulgarian National Park. The first cartridges (which hold the printed tissues for several weeks after the initial print) will return to Earth on SpaceX 18th, which means somewhere in late August. Scientists will then keep them in the lab and perform mechanical and chemical tests as well as analyze how tissues compare with native tissue grown on the ground. Both experts suggested that tin the past, there have been many stem cell experiments in space, and stem cells are not behaving as they did on earth.
"We want to know if we can force cells to do what we want in our bioreactors. We believe we can, but we will not know until we return to the lab. We have feedback and sensors in our system, so we'll know what they're doing there, but until we get them back in our hands, we will not know for sure, "Boland said.
The SpaceX Dragon Spacecraft receives science from the ISS and returns the experimental samples at home for analysis. According to NASA, one of the following highlights is that the ISS is open to business. Traditionally, the ISS Multidisciplinary Laboratory focuses on research, but has a great interest in the commercial use of the space station and the use of space as a whole, which is why the agency has taken great steps to develop a policy of commercial use of the ISS, including how they can participate NASA astronauts, as well as pricing and distribution. Pitt Hassbrook, Manager of the NASAAn international space station, a cabinet, said on Tuesday that there is a possibility for low earth orbit (LEO) destinations, a module to be attached to the ISS, as well as free-flying units, private astronauts, space-based new facilities, laboratory developments and even long-term NASA needs for LEO. The ISC is a great supporter of research, mainly in the field of human research and technology, proving that there is plenty of space to boost 3D prints in space.
Ken Shields, Chief Operating Officer of the US National Laboratory, ISS, also discussed the work of the laboratory in the development of science in space and the development of partnerships that stimulate industrialization.
"Business thrives in the ISS and the National Laboratory, in particular, 70% of the payloads put on the ISS with SpaceX 18 come from the private sector. Which means we see very positive trends as it concerns the research and development of the station, which will always have a home with the National Laboratory of the ISS as it brings benefits to humanity. This particular mission is a great representation of the trends we see, especially the variety of applications in microgravity, "Shields said.
The Dragon's unloaded rack will conduct an orbit survey, arriving at the space station on Friday, July 26, and will be met by NASA astronauts Nick Heig, Christina Koch, and Andrew Morgan. TISS is a great place to initiate and promote activity and incubate its development (similar to BFF), directing space exploration to new heights.
You can join to hear about some of the amazing science projects that fly to the ISS on 18th SpaceX procurement mission to the orbital lab and witness the launch of the following link: http://nasa.gov/ live. And do not forget to ask some of the experts who are available with #AskNASA. Date and time are subject to change by NASA and the SpaceX team.
[Images: NASA, nScrypt, and Techshot]