Paul Ducheyne, a principal investigator in the microgravity materials science program and head of the University of Pernsylvania's Center for Bioactive Materials and Tissue Engineering, is leading the trio as they use simulated microgravity to determine the optimal characteristics of tiny glass particles for growing bone tissue. The result could make possible a much broader range of synthetic bone-grafting applications. Bioactive glass particles (left) with a microporous surface (right) are widely accepted as a synthetic material for periodontal procedures. Using the particles to grow three-dimensional tissue cultures may one day result in developing an improved, more rugged bone tissue that may be used to correct skeletal disorders and bone defects. The work is sponsored by NASA's Office of Biological and Physical Research.