A new experiment is taking place aboard the International Space Stations as a team of researchers sent samples of human stem cells into space. The research aims to observe if the adults stem cells can form human tissues like bone and cartilage.
It Is theorized that if the experiment is successful, researchers could obtain valuable data that should facilitate the the opportunity to grow artificial organs that could be used for transplants. The ISS was chosen as a suitable location for the experiment since the absence of gravity will encourage the stem cells to grow across three dimensions.
According to initial data, the conditions found in space do offer a superior environment in comparison to the ones found on Earth, will the tissues will tend to grow in the form of a single layer. The experiment is being conducted with the help of a miniaturized mobile laboratory that has been sent to the ISS with the help of a Dragon cargo capsule, and it will last for a month.
New Experiment on the ISS Proved That Human Organs Might Be Grown in Space
Positive results will pave the way towards the implementation of production capabilities as the process could be employed to generate custom tissues for transplants by using the cells collected from patients or using artificial tissue with a high compatibility grade.
While tissues grown as monolayers are usable for a large number of applications the ability to grow complex 3D tissues would be a great boon for surgical medicine since it will allow researchers to grow vital organs that could be used for emergency transplants, saving the lives of thousands of people who are on waiting lists.
After the experiment reaches the deadline, the samples will be sent back to Earth and analyzed to see if they developed adequately. The exact role of the conditions encountered aboard the ISS remains elusive, but further research will take place.