Research projects

Nasa [Smds] 4 agencies select 8 research projects to extend the lifespan of 3D tissue chips to 6 months

Nasa [Smds] 4 agencies select 8 research projects to extend the lifespan of 3D tissue chips to 6 months

Status report of: NASA Physical and Space Life Sciences
Posted: Tuesday March 1st 2022

NASA, the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the Department of Health and Human Services Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) are pleased to announce the award of eight contracts in a multi-agency collaboration that will extend tissue viability and physiological function to a minimum of 6 months using automated engineering capabilities for real-time online readouts in complex human in vitro models, such as tissue microarrays or microphysiological systems.

The scientific goals of these investigations are to better understand 1) disease models, 2) drug development, 3) clinical trial design, 4) chemical and environmental exposures and countermeasures, and 5) physiological changes due to the spaceflight environment. Thorough characterization is a critical next step in the evolution of these technologies, especially when considering acute versus chronic exposures.

This effort, sponsored by NASA’s Space Biology Program, reflects a collaboration between NASA’s Science Mission Directorate, NASA’s Human Research Program, NIH National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS), NIH National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), the NIH National Cancer Institute (NCI), BARDA and the FDA. The agencies have selected projects that will adapt existing 3D tissues and microphysiological systems (MPS) – also known as “tissue chips” or “organs on chips” – to 1) extend tissue viability and robust function for at least 6 months, and 2) fully test and validate these models for both acute and chronic stressors.

Selected studies aim to fund the development and validation of tissue microarrays that can operate successfully for 6 months or more in an automated fashion, to be used for modeling acute and/or chronic exposures (e.g., to drugs and other compounds, radiation, environmental hazards, infection, exposure to microgravity, etc.).

Prizes will be awarded to the following eight scholars from eight institutions in six states. When fully implemented, a total of approximately $16 million will be awarded in fiscal years 2022-2026.

The list of winners can be viewed at https://science.nasa.gov/news-scientific/biological-physical/4-agency-select-8-research-projects-to-be-extended-longevity-of-3d-tissue-chips-at-6-months.

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