SPHEROIDS (SPHEROIDS) - 11.22.16

Overview | Description | Applications | Operations | Results | Publications | Imagery

ISS Science for Everyone

Science Objectives for Everyone
Human subjects and experimental animal models returning from space have shown muscle-skeletal and cardiovascular problems accredited to injury of the endothelium: the system of cells lining the inner surface of all blood vessels. The SPHEROIDS experiment investigates the effects of microgravity on endothelial cell function, with respect to blood vessel formation, cellular proliferation, and programmed cell death. Results could help in the development of potential countermeasures to prevent cardiovascular deconditioning in astronauts, and improve knowledge of endothelial function on Earth - which could be useful for clinical application.
Science Results for Everyone
Information Pending

The following content was provided by Francesco Curcio, Daniela Gabriele Grimm, MD, and is maintained in a database by the ISS Program Science Office.
Information provided courtesy of the Erasmus Experiment Archive.
Experiment Details

OpNom: Spheroids

Principal Investigator(s)
Francesco Curcio, University of Udine, Udine, Italy
Daniela Gabriele Grimm, MD, Institute of Biomedicine, Pharmacology, Aarhus University, Aarhus, Denmark

Co-Investigator(s)/Collaborator(s)
Marcel Egli, Space Biology Group, Hochschule Luzern - Technik & Architektur, Hergiswil, Switzerland
Johann Bauer, SIHATHO GmbH, Biedenkopf, Germany
Manfred Infanger, Clinic of Trauma, Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Berlin/Clinic for Plastic, Aesthetic and Hand Surgery, Otto-von • Guericke-University Magdeburg , Germany
Sarah Baatout, CEN SCK, Belgian Nuclear Research Centre, Mol, Belgium

Developer(s)
European Space Agency (ESA), Noordwijk, Netherlands

Sponsoring Space Agency
European Space Agency (ESA)

Sponsoring Organization
Information Pending

Research Benefits
Earth Benefits, Scientific Discovery, Space Exploration

ISS Expedition Duration
March 2016 - September 2016

Expeditions Assigned
47/48

Previous Missions
Information Pending

^ back to top

Experiment Description

Research Overview

  • Endothelial cells cover the entire inner surface of the blood vessels, and play a crucial role in maintaining the functional integrity of the vascular wall. Functional properties of the endothelium include an active control of the various components of homeostasis, vascular tone and permeability, and medial smooth muscle cell growth. Indeed, endothelial dysfunctions promote several diseases, among which atherosclerosis, hypertension, diabetes, and thrombosis. Major alterations of endothelial behaviour could also explain the high frequency of cardiovascular disease in the elderly. Human subjects and experimental animal models returning from space have shown muscle-skeletal and cardiovascular problems accredited to injury of the endothelium, and extensive studies have been performed which have shown that cultured endothelial cells are highly sensitive to simulated microgravity.
  • SPHEROIDS investigates the effects of weightlessness on endothelial cell function, with respect to blood vessel formation, cellular proliferation and programmed cell death. The flight experiment enables scientists to distinguish the effects caused by simulated microgravity on ground from those due to spaceflight microgravity. It will also be investigated if the endothelial cells exposed to spaceflight microgravity can be protected using Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor, which is a protein which helps to stimulate blood vessel formation.
  • Because endothelial cells are responsible for the integrity of the vascular wall, a better understanding of the modulation of endothelial functions in space might help in the development of potential countermeasures to prevent cardiovascular deconditioning in astronauts. This could also provide better knowledge of endothelial function on Earth, which could be useful for clinical application centered around endothelial dysfunction.

Description
Information Pending

^ back to top

Applications

Space Applications
Human subjects and experimental animal models returning from space have shown muscle-skeletal and cardiovascular problems accredited to injury of the endothelium Because endothelial cells are responsible for the integrity of the vascular wall, a better understanding of the modulation of endothelial functions in space might help in the development of potential countermeasures to prevent cardiovascular deconditioning in astronauts.

Earth Applications
Endothelial cells play a crucial role in maintaining the functional integrity of the vascular wall. Indeed, endothelial dysfunctions promote several diseases, among which atherosclerosis, hypertension, diabetes, and thrombosis. Major alterations of endothelial behavior could also explain the high frequency of cardiovascular disease in the elderly. Improving the knowledge of endothelial function could be useful for clinical application centred around endothelial dysfunction.

^ back to top

Operations

Operational Requirements and Protocols
Information Pending

^ back to top

Decadal Survey Recommendations

Information Pending

^ back to top

Results/More Information

Information Pending

^ back to top

Related Websites

^ back to top


Imagery