SpaceX’s Dragon cargo ship is scheduled to launch on the evening of March 15 (Vietnam time), carrying nearly 2,860 kg of cargo to the International Space Station (ISS) as well as a special device containing the “heart-on-a-chip”.
This fabric will be used in two experiments – Cardinal Heart 2.0 and Engineered Heart Tissues-2 – test whether existing medications can help prevent or reverse the negative effects of spaceflight on the heart.
Tissue models of the human heart will be sent to the International Space Station.
Models based on human heart tissue will be sent to the International Space Station.
The beating heart organ develops from the Induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs). These cells are part of the investigation into the effects of microgravity on drug response using cardiac organoids (Cardinal Heart 2.0).
Research will show that space travel can cause the heart to contract, because in a microgravity environment, the heart muscle does not need to work as hard to pump blood to the upper parts of the body. Additionally, the heart can change shape under the influence of microgravity, as blood rises, out of the legs and abdomen, toward the head and torso, causing the heart to bulge, according to NASA.
Studies show that the heart also undergoes aging-related cellular changes during spaceflight. “Therefore, this research is not only important for future space exploration, but could also lead to better treatments for heart disease and age-related cardiac dysfunction on Earth.” Devin Mair, doctoral student at the University Johns Hopkins which is involved in the design of heart tissue. process, said during a NASA press conference on March 14.
The experiments are part of the initiative Tissue chips in spacea joint project of the U.S. National Institutes of Health and the International Space Station National Laboratory aimed at understanding the effects of spaceflight and microgravity on the human body, according to NASA.
The heart tissues were designed for two experiments involving two devices carrying cardiomyocytes – contractile heart muscle cells – into small fluid-filled chambers.
Cardiomyocytes are grown from stem cells and shaped in 3D in the laboratory. They are then threaded between two columns in each room. A cylinder containing a magnet moves every time a muscle cell contracts. A sensor tracks the movement of the magnet, allowing researchers to monitor muscle contractions in real time.
Mair and his colleagues had already sent heart tissue into space in March 2020, and in that experiment they observed signs of dysfunction in the cell’s mitochondria, he said at a press conference from The NASA.
Mitochondria provide energy to cells and thus power the pumping process of the heart. Their dysfunction is linked to many heart problems, including irregular heartbeat and heart failure.
May said: “In a trial conducted during this trip to the ISS, the team will continue to study mitochondrial dysfunction, as well as test a number of existing drugs to see whether or not they prevent or reverse the problems. These drugs specifically target mitochondrial dysfunction and the upstream mechanisms that lead to this dysfunction. »
Similarly, the Cardinal Heart 2.0 experiment will use small 3D blocks of heart tissue, called cardiac organoids, to test whether approved drugs can protect heart cells from the effects of gravity or not.
The organic materials will be processed before the launch of the Dragon spacecraft, in an effort to prevent the negative effects of microgravity from penetrating, said Dilip Thomas, a postdoctoral researcher at the Stanford Cardiovascular Institute who was involved in Cardinal Heart 2.0, during the press conference. These medications include statins and antihypertensive medications used to treat heart failure.
Article source: Tien Phong
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SpaceX’s Dragon cargo ship is scheduled to launch on the evening of March 15 (Vietnam time), carrying nearly 2,860 kg of cargo to the International Space Station (ISS) as well as a…