Biotechnology System (BTS) Coculture

Bioreactor Bioreactor Vessels


The objective of this experiment was to demonstrate the ability to culture cells into tissues in the Mir environment, with regard to nominal operating procedures for Space Station.

Shuttle-Mir Missions

Human breast cancer cells and endothelial cells were inoculated on the ground at KSC and the culture transported by the Shuttle to Mir and allowed to grow during the NASA-7 mission. The cells grew in the rotating bioreactor, the same device used on NASA-3 to propogate the cartilage construct tissue. Media and tissue samples were obtained periodically and archived for postflight analysis. Returned tissue constructs are used to study morphological, biochemical, and molecular genetic changes.

At present, data analysis and evaluation is in progress. The samples are being processed.

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 the potential to study cell to cell interaction--similar to the way it occurs in the body. Better understanding of the biochemical and morphological interaction between breast cancer and endothelial blood vessel cells could lead to the development of new treatments for breast cancer.

None available at this time.

Principal Investigators
Elliot M. Levine, Ph.D.
Wistar Institute

Thomas Goodwin

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Page last updated: 07/16/1999