Miniaturized models of the lung and bone marrow, kidney, blood-brain barrier and bone cartilage will blast off on April 30 to the International Space Station National Lab (ISS National Lab) on a Falcon 9 rocket from Cape Canaveral, FL. The models are bioengineered, 3-D tissue chip systems. Researchers will use the tissue chips in space to study aging and certain disease states that appear to be accelerated in microgravity and then later to test the potential effects of drugs on those tissues. The projects aim to provide insights that will speed the development of treatments for kidney stones, arthritis and other conditions that affect us here on Earth.
Each project is funded through the Tissue Chips in Space initiative, which is a collaboration among the ISS National Lab and the National Institutes of Health’s National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS) and National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering.