October 9, 2018
An interdisciplinary team led by ISCRM Faculty Member Deok-Ho Kim has been awarded a new NIH-CASIS Tissue Chips in Space UG3/UH3 grant to support research that aims to improve our understanding of how extended periods in microgravity affect the functional capacity of human myocardial tissue and that could have significant impact on the development of deep space missions in the near future. The work funded by the grant will involve two separate missions to the International Space Station.
Other ISCRM co-investigators involved with the grant are Nathan Sniadecki, a UW Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering; Eun Hyun Ahn, a UW Research Assistant Professor in the Pathology Department; and Alec Smith, a UW Acting Instructor in the Bioengineering Department.
While single human cells have been investigated aboard the International Space Station previously, this study will be the first to engineer 3D human stem cell-derived myocardial tissue on chip for analysis in microgravity. Dr. Kim and his team plans to build a novel heart tissue chip platform that will enable continuous monitoring of human cardiac contraction during spaceflight and will recover the tissues after return to Earth for gene expression studies and proteomics analysis. The developed platform will not only enable study of potential therapeutic regimens to help keep astronauts’ hearts healthy during long-term space travel, but could also have implications for the development of new treatments to help improve cardiac function in patients suffering from cardiac dysfunction here on Earth.
Click here for more information about the NIH-CASIS Tissue Chips in Space funding program.