Growing Artificial Tissues in Simulated Microgravity
In June 2016, The Department of Biomaterials held a seminar on Growing Artificial Tissues in Simulated Microgravity. The guest speaker of the seminar was Prof. Alamelu Sundaresan from Department of Biology, Texas Southern University, Houston, USA.
Prof. Sundaresan research focus is on the biological effects of microgravity and radiation on astronauts as humans in space are at high risk for bone loss. The Seminar at Faculty Club highlighted some of the advances and accomplishments in the field of tissue engineering that could be achieved by culturing cells in Space or by devices created to simulate microgravity on Earth. Alamelu explained that she has developed a 3D cell culture, using a specialized rotating-wall vessel culture system to address a more physiologically relevant model to the human body. The use of the cells by themselves in a controlled system eliminates confounding variables, such as neuroendocrine stress, found in vivo.
Alamelu's recent joint publication on the impact of microgravity on bone in humans (doi:10.1016/j.bone.2015.12.057) explains the dramatic changes the human body undergoes during a long-term spaceflight. Discoveries made in the course of space biomedical research on bone are already contributing to a better understanding of osteoporosis and the treatment of bone mass loss on the Earth as well as in space.
Prof. Sundaresan is excited about a current collaborative project with the Department of Biomaterials at the University of Oslo. The project in collaboration with Prof. Janne Reseland initiatives to promote science through partnerships with the focus on identifying and integrating emerging scientific developments into the combined effects of microgravity and cosmic radiation on bone to ultimately improve the knowledge on the mechanisms of bone loss in space.