Tissue Engineering in Area Might Deal with Age-Associated Muscle Loss on Earth
From: Center for the Advancement of Science in Space (CASIS)
Posted: Monday, August 9, 2021
An investigation headed for the Worldwide Area Station (ISS) on Northrop Grumman’s upcoming 16th Commercial Resupply Services (CRS) mission may sometime allow fast developments in therapies for age-related muscle loss.
In an experiment funded by the U.S. Nationwide Science Basis (NSF), researchers from the Palo Alto Veterans Institute for Analysis and Stanford College are leveraging microgravity to develop a tissue-engineered model of sarcopenia, the age-related deterioration of skeletal muscle. If validated, the mannequin might be used to check the development of muscle deterioration and function a worthwhile platform for testing potential therapies for sarcopenia and associated muscle illness.
Sarcopenia is a standard however critical situation that contributes to frailty and poor well being outcomes in older adults. Its affiliation with previous age, nevertheless, implies that the physiological markers that outline sarcopenia can take years to develop, stated principal investigator Ngan Huang, assistant professor of cardiothoracic surgical procedure at Stanford and principal investigator for the Veterans Affairs Palo Alto Well being Care System.
“As a result of it’s such a sluggish course of, it makes it actually tough to check the efficacy of medication that might be used for treating sarcopenia,” Huang stated. “Scientific trials can take many years, which is probably not possible.”
Low Earth orbit presents a promising analysis surroundings for muscular illness analysis as a result of it may possibly speed up the method. Within the absence of resistive train, publicity to microgravity is thought to outcome within the lack of muscle mass throughout spaceflight. Utilizing a specifically engineered skeletal muscle platform, Huang’s crew plans to harness that impact within the hopes of inducing sarcopenia-like signs in pattern tissues onboard the ISS at a price a lot sooner than on Earth.
“As a substitute of taking many years, it may take probably days or perhaps weeks in microgravity,” Huang stated. “That would present a big benefit as a result of microgravity might be used to check sarcopenia in a a lot sooner timeframe.”
Since 2017, NSF has partnered with the ISS U.S. Nationwide Laboratory on an annual solicitation to fund tissue engineering analysis on the house station. Huang’s investigation is the primary NSF-funded tissue engineering venture to launch to the orbiting laboratory as a part of this collaboration.
One of many defining traits of sarcopenia is the impaired skill to type new muscle fibers. To imitate the formation of muscle fibers in house, Huang’s crew is utilizing an engineered tissue platform that includes seeding a collagen scaffold with muscle progenitor cells. The platform, developed in partnership with ISS Nationwide Lab Business Service Supplier BioServe Area Applied sciences, guides the cells to align in parallel as they mature, forming organized precursors of muscle fibers often known as myotubes.
As soon as the samples return to Earth, they are going to be examined for impaired myotube formation, in addition to numerous genetic and protein markers related to sarcopenia.
Dashing the event of sarcopenia biomarkers in a mannequin tissue may even scale back the time wanted to check the effectiveness of remedy choices, which may open the door to fast scientific trials, Huang stated. As a proof of idea, her crew may even check whether or not insulin-like development factor-1, a development issue that’s identified to stimulate the formation of muscle myotubes, can reverse indicators of degradation in samples grown in house utilizing the identical engineered muscle platform.
If profitable, Huang’s experiment may finally pave the best way for enhancements in therapies not just for sarcopenia but in addition for different kinds of slow-onset losing illnesses.
“This analysis venture is one other great instance of how NSF’s partnership with CASIS opens alternatives for brand spanking new analysis instructions that leverage the ISS Nationwide Lab to learn life on Earth,” stated Richard Dickinson, division director of the NSF Division of Chemical, Bioengineering, Environmental and Transport Programs.
Northrop Grumman CRS-16 will launch from NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia no sooner than August 10, 2021 at 5:56 p.m. EDT. To study extra about how the ISS Nationwide Lab is supporting analysis on Northrop Grumman CRS-16, please go to our mission overview page.
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In regards to the Worldwide Area Station (ISS) U.S. Nationwide Laboratory: The Worldwide Area Station (ISS) is a one-of-a-kind laboratory that permits analysis and expertise growth not attainable on Earth. As a public service enterprise, the ISS Nationwide Lab permits researchers to leverage this multiuser facility to enhance life on Earth, mature space-based enterprise fashions, advance science literacy sooner or later workforce, and increase a sustainable and scalable market in low Earth orbit. Via this orbiting nationwide laboratory, analysis sources on the ISS can be found to help non-NASA science, expertise and training initiatives from U.S. authorities companies, tutorial establishments, and the personal sector. The Heart for the Development of Science in Area (CASIS) manages the ISS Nationwide Lab, underneath cooperative settlement with NASA, facilitating entry to its everlasting microgravity analysis surroundings, a strong vantage level in low Earth orbit, and the acute and diversified circumstances of house. To study extra in regards to the ISS Nationwide Lab, go to www.ISSNationalLab.org.
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