Cell Culture Module - Immune Response of Human Monocytes in Microgravity (CCM-Immune Response) is Department of Defense Space Test Program research that uses cell culture in microgravity as a model of reduced immune function. This investigation will examine the response of human immune cells in microgravity to new chitosan-based antibacterials.Principal Investigator(s)
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
National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)Sponsoring Organization
Department of Defense (DoD) - RetiredISS Expedition Duration
April 2007 - October 2007
15Previous ISS Missions
This experiment model has not previously flown in the CCM, although the CCM has flown on previous missions.
Previous studies indicate that space flight diminishes the body’s immune response. Cell Culture Module - Immune
Response of Human Monocytes in Microgravity (CCM-Immune Response) examined the human immune response
and the effect of newly discovered natural chitosan-based antibacterials to modulate and improve the immune
response. By using a monocyte (white blood cell) cell line and examining the gene expression as a result of bacterial
based stimuli in the absence and presence of chitosan-based materials, this experiment examined the role of these
materials in modulating the inflammatory responses as well as connected wound healing activity.
Monocytes were loaded into perfused hollow fiber bioreactors and divided into four groups. The first group received injections of endotoxin, the second received injections of chitosan-arginine, the third received injections of chitosan-arginine and endotoxin, and the final control group received common media injections. Cells were fixed at two time points and their ribonucleic acid (RNA), which is responsible for the transfer of information from deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA), extracted for examination by gene chip analysis of the human inflammatory and wound healing subset. It is suspected that chitosan derivative injections may demonstrate a beneficial role in mitigating inflammatory responses while stimulating wound healing.
Astronauts traveling to the moon or Mars in microgravity may experience injury or trauma, initiating the wound healing process. The chitosan-based experiment results will help determine a new and improved wound healing treatment for astronauts, as well as for the needs of military personnel in space and for future space travel.Earth Applications
Where textile dressings stem the loss of blood by direct pressure, chitosan bandages actively clot the wound. These bandages are now standard issue for U.S. soldiers serving in Iraq and Afghanistan. This investigation provides a test of chitosan as a cell culture matrix and more information into its bacteriological properties which will be used in further developing the use of chitosan for military and civilian applications.
Four rails with individual flowpaths and biochambers will be housed inside the CCM hardware. Two rails, with four experiment samples each, will be used for the chitosan-based wound repair study. Human monocytes will be tested alone, with endotoxin, with chitosan-arginine, and with chitosan-arginine and endotoxin together. The rails will provide growth media, automated chitosan-derivative and endotoxin delivery, environment monitors and RNA fixation capabilities.Operational Protocols
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. Following return to Earth, the rails will be returned to the investigator for in-depth analysis.
Preliminary results from CCM-Immune Response show that the cells were successfully cultured and returned to Earth. Monocytes without chitosan did not survive the bacterial infection, whereas, the monocytes with chitosan were protected and survived. Preliminary analysis shows the potential for a new pharmaceutical to fight large scale bacterial infections. (Evans et al. 2009)
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