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Microgravity

2001-06-01

NASA

NASA
Washington, DC, United States

Cells cultured on Earth (left) typically settle quickly on the bottom of culture vessels due to gravity. In microgravity (right), cells remain suspended and aggregate to form three-dimensional tissue. The NASA Bioreactor provides a low turbulence culture environment which promotes the formation of large, three-dimensional cell clusters. The Bioreactor is rotated to provide gentle mixing of fresh and spent nutrient without inducing shear forces that would damage the cells. Due to their high level of cellular organization and specialization, samples constructed in the bioreactor more closely resemble the original tumor or tissue found in the body. The work is sponsored by NASA's Office of Biological and Physical Research. The bioreactor is managed by the Biotechnology Cell Science Program at NASA's Johnson Space Center (JSC). NASA-sponsored bioreactor research has been instrumental in helping scientists to better understand normal and cancerous tissue development. In cooperation with the medical community, the bioreactor design is being used to prepare better models of human colon, prostate, breast and ovarian tumors. Cartilage, bone marrow, heart muscle, skeletal muscle, pancreatic islet cells, liver and kidney are just a few of the normal tissues being cultured in rotating bioreactors by investigators.

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  • Title: Microgravity
  • Date Created: 2001-06-01
  • Rights: MSFC
  • Album: rlobrie1

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