Cell Culture Module - Effect of Microgravity on Wound Repair: In Vitro Model of New Blood Vessel Development (CCM-Wound Repair) - 07.15.14
ISS Science for Everyone
Science Objectives for Everyone
Cell Culture Module - Effect of Microgravity on Wound Repair: In Vitro Model of New Blood Vessel Development (CCM-Wound Repair) is Department of Defense Space Test Program research that uses cell culture in micrgravity as a model of wound healing. This investigation is directed at the use of adipose derived adult stem cells for use in injury repair and how the microgravity alters new blood vessel development which is a key component of wound and tissue repair.
Science Results for Everyone
United States Department of Defense Space Test Program, Johnson Space Center, Houston, TX, United States
Walter Reed Army Institute of Research, Silver Spring, MD, United States
Sponsoring Space Agency
National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)
Department of Defense (DoD) - Retired
ISS Expedition Duration
April 2007 - October 2007
Previous ISS Missions
This experiment model has not previously flown in the CCM, although the CCM has flown on previous space shuttle missions.
- CCM - Wound Repair is Department of Defense Space Test Program research directed at understanding the effects of microgravity on living systems, concentrating on wound healing.
- The experiment takes advantage of an emerging body of knowledge surrounding the utility of adipose (fat) derived stem cells (ADSC) to improve tissue repair through a combination of revascularization, new tissue formation, and growth factor recruitment of key repair cells.
- This investigation will have utility for wound repair problems encountered in space but also will add to the understanding of the mechanisms of signaling within the ADSCs that are key to the cell differentiation and effectiveness of the cells to effect repair in living systems. These cells have already shown great promise to improve muscle, bone, immune and chronic injury conditions on Earth.
ISS Science Challenge Student Reflection
ISS Science Challenge Selected Project
We chose CCM-Wound Repair because we were interested in learning about a biology-based experiment and wound repair sounded like a fascinating topic. The results of this experiment don't seem to have been published yet, but it will be exciting to learn what became of this experiment. By doing this project, the enormity of the ISS was really put into perspective. We also learned about cell repair systems, bioreactors, adipose-derived stem cells, and gained a general awareness as to the experiments on the ISS.
-Lauren, Grade 11, Great Neck South High School, Great Neck, New York
-Katherine, Grade 10, Hatboro-Horsham High School, Horsham, Pennsylvania
Previous microgravity studies indicate that space flight diminishes the wound repair process. Cell Culture Module - Effect of Microgravity on Wound Repair: In Vitro Model of New Blood Vessel Development (CCM-Wound Repair) used primary endothelial cells derived from adipose tissue as a wound repair model to study and potentially mitigate the effects of microgravity on wound repair. When Endothelial cells, which are found lining all blood vessels, are in culture they form cords and tubes that are precursors to new blood vessels. It is believed that the processes of new blood vessel formation and maturation will be impaired when the cells are cultured in microgravity, as compared to Earth-based cultures. It is also expected to see differences in gene expression when the cultures are subjected to genomic analysis.
The endothelial cells were seeded onto custom flatbed bioreactors and perfused. Growth hormone (VEG-F) was injected into half of the samples preflight, and all samples were fixed during space flight. It is suspected that those exposed to growth hormone will show improved blood vessel formation and maturation compared to those without growth hormone.
Astronauts traveling to the moon or Mars in microgravity may experience injury or trauma, initiating the wound healing process. The blood vessel experiment will help determine a potential treatment to minimize any negative effects of microgravity on wound healing and blood vessel formation.
This unique cell culture in microgravity serves as a model system for understanding necrosis of tissue following severe injuries. Using adipose derived adult stem cells may accelerate new blood vessel development which is a key component of wound and tissue repair. Results will be applied to help prevent the loss of limbs following severe injuries with life-changing benefits in military and civilian applications.
Four rails with individual flowpaths and biochambers will be housed inside the CCM hardware. Two of the rails will house three individual biochambers/flowpaths each with primary endothelial cells. The rails will provide growth media, environment monitors and cell fixation capabilities.
The CCM investigation is self contained and requires crew interaction for activation, daily status checks and re-entry. Rails will contain cell lines treated with different wound repair factors or growth hormones. Following return to Earth, the rails will be returned to the investigator for in-depth analysis.
Preliminary results from CCM-Wound Repair show that the cells were successfully cultured and returned to Earth. Data analysis is ongoing to determine deviations in cell pathology between flight and ground cells used to characterize the microgravity induced stresses on the flight samples. (Evans et al. 2009)
Ground Based Results Publications
Kulesh DA, Anderson LH, Wilson B, Otis EJ, Elgin DM, Barker MJ, Mehm WJ, Kearney GP. Space shuttle flight (STS-45) of L8 myoblast cells results in the isolation of nonfusing cell line variant. Journal of Cellular Biochemistry. 1994; 55(4): 530-44.
Lee PH, Lee PH, Vandenburgh HH. Spaceflight Reduces Foreign Protein Expression in Tissue-engineered Skeletal Muscle. Gravitational and Space Biology. 2012 April; 26(1): 17-24. DOI: http://gravitationalandspacebiology.org/index.php/journal/article/view/563/583.
Vandenburgh HH, Chromiak JA, Shansky J, Del Tatto M, LeMaire J. Space travel directly induces skeletal muscle atrophy. Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology Journal. 1999; 13: 1031-1038.
NASA Image - s118e10350: Seen in this image is the hardware that houses the Cell Culture Module - Immune Response of Human Monocytes in Microgravity (CCM-Immune Response) and the Cell Culture Module - Effect of Microgravity on Wound Repair: In Vitro Model of New Blood Vessel Development (CCM-Wound Repair) experiments. The experiments were flown on STS118/13A.1 in August 2007.
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