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Space Technology Hall of Fame Inducts NASA Spinoff Technology
image of Hall of Fame winnersSpace Technology Hall of Fame 2011 Honorees: Tinh Trinh, Ray Schwarz, and Dr. David Wolf.
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During a ceremony at the Space Foundation National Space Symposium in Colorado Springs Thursday, the Space Technology Hall of Fame inducted a rotating device developed by NASA inventors to grow specimens of living tissues. Developed in 1986 by a group of NASA engineers and researchers at Johnson Space Center in Houston, the device, known as the bioreactor, enables the growth of tissue, cancer tumors and virus cultures outside the body in space and on Earth.

Three of the co-developers of the bioreactor also are being inducted in the Space Technology Hall of Fame: Dr. David Wolf, NASA astronaut, physician and electrical engineer; Tinh Trinh, senior mechanical engineer, Wyle Integrated Science and Engineering Group; and Ray Schwarz, chief engineer and co-founder of Synthecon Inc.

The bioreactor is a NASA spinoff technology that entered the commercial world when Synthecon licensed it in 1993. For more information about the bioreactor, visit Regenetech Inc. licensed patents from Johnson to produce three-dimensional tissues in the bioreactor. Regenetech, through a special NASA agreement, provides the technology to researchers pursuing rare disease treatments. The bioreactor is manufactured for commercial sale by Synthecon.

The Space Technology Hall of Fame is a collaboration between NASA and the Space Foundation. Organizational inductees for the bioreactor in 2011 are those that developed the technology and refined it for commercial use: NASA┬╣s Johnson Space Center, Regenetech Inc. and Synthecon Inc. All three are based in Houston, Texas.