Biochemistry of 3-D Tissue Engineering - BTS

Objectives

The primary engineering objective was hardware validation. This included the determination of the engineering perfomance of the BSTC during 105 days of inflight cell culture.

The secondary biotechnology objectives included: (1) to determine if cells will grow and propagate in culture in microgravity, (2) to validate procedures for cell transfer, refeeding and culture splitting in microgravity, and (3) to investigate the mechanisms of differentiation of rat renal cells growing in microgravity culture.

Shuttle-Mir Missions
STS-86, NASA-6, STS-89

Approach
BIO-3D involved the cell cultures of neuroendocrine, rat renal tubular, and promyelocytic leukemic cell lineages. I-Cell culture maintenance was performed in microgravity by the NASA-6 crewmembers. Statistical analysis of culture conditions was also performed.

Results
The four principle results for this experiment are: (1) The BSTC supports cell culture in microgravity for prolonged periods, (2) cells will grow and propagate in culture in microgravity, (3) cell transfer, refeeding and culture splitting is efficacious in microgravity, and (4) the mechanisms of differentiation of rat renal cells growing in microgravity culture are being analyzed.

We have validated the engineering performance of the BSTC as flight hardware to support cell culture in microgravity, and identified components which require refurbishing. Cells grow and propagate in culture in microgravity, where cell transfer, refeeding and culture splitting can be performed with efficiency.

Earth Benefits
The growth of tissues on the ground limits the potential of three-dimensional development due to gravitational forces. In space, scientists have learned that tissues can grow in 3-D, unlocking potential to study cell to cell interaction similar to the way it occurs in the body. Better understanding of the tissue architecture of neuroendocrine, rat renal tubular, and promeylocytic leukemia cells could lead to advances in pain suppression, kidney disease treatment, and leukemia treatment, respectively.

Publications
Submitted to Nature Medicine.

Principal Investigators
Timothy Hammond, M.D., B.S.
Tulane Environmental Astrobiology Center

Co-Investigators
Thomas J. Goodwin M.A.
James H. Kaysen Ph.D.

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