More research equipment from Greenville-based Techshot Inc. has made its way to the International Space Station. The equipment, which launched Saturday aboard an uncrewed SpaceX cargo resupply spacecraft, contains experiment modules to be used in a Massachusetts Institute of Technology tissue chip experiment.
Techshot, which developed the modules, says tissue chip devices are designed as accurate models of the structure and function of human tissues such as the lungs, liver, heart and bone. The company and MIT collaborated to adapt the institute’s tissue chip system for culture on the ISS in the customized modules.
Astronauts will load the modules into a Multi-use Variable-gravity Platform, also designed by Techshot, for processing.
The research is part of a collaboration between the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences at the National Institutes of Health and the International Space Station U.S. National Laboratory. The goal of the research is to study the effects of microgravity on the human body, which often resemble aging. Techshot says tissue chip applications in space are expected to contribute to an understanding of the aging process and could lead to solutions for slowing it.
The experiment will run for 22 days and all of the samples will return to Earth on the same SpaceX capsule in which they were launched. You can learn more about the experiment, along with other research being done at the ISS, by clicking here.
Last month, additional materials from Techshot were launched to the ISS. The company said at the time that 2019 would be its most active year in space operations. In July, Techshot will launch its BioFabrication Facility to the space station aboard another SpaceX resupply mission.