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SELECTBIO Conferences The Space Summit 2021

The Space Summit 2021 Agenda

Co-Located Conference Agendas

Flow Chemistry Summit 2021 | The Space Summit 2021 | 

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Thursday, 30 September 2021


Conference Registration, Materials Pick-Up, Morning Coffee and Pastries

Session Title: Conference Opening Session -- Flow Chemistry Summit 2021 and The Space Summit 2021


Paul WattsConference Chair

Flow Chemistty-Current and Future Advances
Paul Watts, Distinguished Professor and Research Chair, Nelson Mandela University, South Africa


Marc GiulianottiConference Chair

Impact of Microgravity on Biological and Physical Systems
Marc Giulianotti, Senior Associate Program Scientist, International Space Station U.S. National Laboratory, United States of America


Danilo TagleKeynote Presentation

NIH NCATS Tissue Chips in Space
Danilo Tagle, Associate Director For Special Initiatives, Office of the Director, National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences at the NIH (NCATS), United States of America


Fundamental Challenges in Automating Chemistry
Alex Godfrey, , NIH/NCATS, United States of America


Morning Coffee Break and Networking


Michael GelinskyKeynote Presentation

Bioprinting of Living Tissue Constructs For Space Exploration
Michael Gelinsky, Professor and Head, Center for Translational Bone, Joint and Soft Tissue Research, Faculty of Medicine, Technische Universität Dresden, Germany

For long-term space exploratory missions and extra-terrestrial human settlements, e. g. on Moon or Mars, the astronauts must be able to treat health problems on site as a fast return to Earth is impossible. 3D bioprinting is a promising technology which might allow fabrication of tissue constructs like skin and bone with limited equipment and materials which mostly could be produced locally. The presentation will give an overview about a study on bioprinting for space exploration which recently was carried out for the European Space Agency (ESA). We have investigated different bioprinting technologies, suitable biomaterials and also possible medical scenarios in which bioprinting might become an important tool.


Aaron BeelerKeynote Presentation

Flow Chemistry in Space
Aaron Beeler, Assistant Professor, Boston University, United States of America


Tissue Chips in Space - Cartilage/Bone Osteoarthritis
Alan Grodzinsky, Professor of Biological, Electrical and Mechanical Engineering, Director of the MIT Center for Biomedical Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), United States of America


Networking Lunch, Meet Exhibitors and View Posters


Volker HesselKeynote Presentation

Microfluidic Systems for Asteroid Minerals Processing and Nanoformulation of Fortified Designer Beverages for Astronauts
Volker Hessel, Professor, School of Chemical Engineering, The University of Adelaide, Australia


One-Step Gene Sampler Tool for Genetic Analysis on ISS
Gergana Nestorova, James C. Jeffrey, M.D. Endowed Professorship in Pre-Med, Louisiana Tech University, United States of America

The aim to support an extended human presence in space has led to the establishment of NASA’s GeneLab, which combines a database repository dedicated to ISS biological experiments and corresponding ground-based studies. The biggest constraints for real-time genetic analysis of biological specimens in space are the time that is required for the astronaut to process the sample and the reduced working area on ISS. Because of these limitations, the number of samples that are currently being analyzed in space is very low. The One-Step Gene Sampler tool can significantly reduce the time required for genetic analysis on ISS and therefore could increase the number of samples analyzed in space. This presentation will discuss the design, application, and validation of this technology on ISS. At the core of this tool is a microscopic pin for the purification of nucleic acid that is analyzed by the WetLab-2  facility currently on station. The Gene Sampler tool can be used for RNA purification at various locations of the biological sample and does not require sacrificing of the specimen. Most valuably, the probes need no further processing to separate RNA from the sample. The specimen’s RNA hybridizes to the surface of the probe and no nuclear contamination occurs. Sampling is completed after a minimum of two-minute insertion into the specimen and the probe can be analyzed directly in the ISS SmartCycler instrument. Instead of using the conventional liquid-based process, the purification of genetic material now can be performed dry, utilizing a functionalized metal pin that is compatible with the ISS environment and analytical tools. The technology was launched on SpaceX CRS-21 and validated by Dr. Kate Rubins in February 2021.


Human Multi-Tissue Platform to Study Effects of Space Radiation and Countermeasures
Gordana Vunjak-Novakovic, University Professor, Columbia University, United States of America

Cosmic radiation is the most serious risk encountered during long missions to the Moon and Mars. There is a compelling need to understand the exact effects of cosmic radiation, safety thresholds, and mechanisms of various types of tissue damage, in order to develop measures for radiation protection during extended space travel. As animal models fail to recapitulate the exact mutational changes expected for astronauts, engineered human tissues and “organs-on-a-chip” are valuable tools for studying effects of radiation in vitro. We have developed bioengineered tissue platforms in which we can study radiation damage in a patient-specific setting. All tissues are derived from induced pluripotent stem cells cultured for a period of 4-6 weeks and matured to match some aspects of human physiology. We describe here the studies of radiation effects on bone marrow (a site of acute radiation damage) and cardiac muscle (a site of chronic radiation damage). To this end, we investigated the effects of simulated high-LET cosmic ray exposures, both acute and protracted, on human tissues connected by vascular perfusion. We propose that the engineered human tissue systems can provide test beds for radioprotective therapeutics to mitigate radiation damage during space exploration.


The NATO Project: Nanoparticle-based Countermeasures for Microgravity-induced Osteoporosis
Livia Visai, Associate Professor, University of Pavia, Italy

Recent advances in nanotechnology applied to medicine and regenerative medicine have an enormous and unexploited potential for future space and terrestrial medical applications. The Nanoparticles and Osteoporosis (NATO) project aimed to develop innovative countermeasures for secondary osteoporosis affecting astronauts after prolonged periods in space microgravity. Calcium- and Strontium-containing hydroxyapatite nanoparticles (nCa-HAP and nSr-HAP, respectively) were previously developed and chemically characterized. This study constitutes the first investigation of the effect of the exogenous addition of nCa-HAP and nSr-HAP on bone remodeling in gravity (1 g), Random Positioning Machine (RPM) and onboard International Space Station (ISS) using human bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells (hBMMSCs). In 1 g conditions, nSr-HAP accelerated and improved the commitment of cells to differentiate towards osteoblasts, as shown by the augmented alkaline phosphatase (ALP) activity and the up-regulation of the expression of bone marker genes, supporting the increased extracellular bone matrix deposition and mineralization. The nSr-HAP treatment exerted a protective effect on the microgravity-induced reduction of ALP activity in RPM samples, and a promoting effect on the deposition of hydroxyapatite crystals in either ISS or 1 g samples. The results indicate the exogenous addition of nSr-HAP could be potentially used to deliver Sr to bone tissue and promote its regeneration, as component of bone substitute synthetic materials and additive for pharmaceutical preparation or food supplementary for systemic distribution.


Afternoon Coffee Break and Networking


View Afternoon Program on the Flow Chemistry Summit Website


Networking Reception with Beer and Wine: Network with Colleagues and Engage with NASA Astronaut


Close of Day 1 of the Conference

Friday, 1 October 2021


Morning Coffee, Pastries and Networking


Jana StoudemireConference Chair

Chairperson's Opening Remarks
Jana Stoudemire, Commercial Innovation Strategy Lead, Axiom Space, United States of America


In-Line Analysis In Flow: The Gateway to Smart Synthesis and Machine Learning in Chemistry
Michael Organ, Professor and Director of the Centre for Catalysis Research and Innovation , University of Ottawa, Canada

In-process reaction monitoring with GCMS, LCMS, and NMR spectroscopy has been developed to accurately track reaction performance. This has facilitated the incorporation of feed-back loops between the reactor effluent stream and the front end of the reactor using in-house developed software for hands-free continuous reaction optimization and production monitoring. Of course, samples must first be extracted from continuous processes in order to perform the above mentioned in-line analysis. This is often times thwarted by the presence of solids in the flowing stream, which can both block lines and valves and make analyses inaccurate. We have developed technology for the reliable handling of samples that contain solids from flow streams, which will be discussed.


Klavs JensenKeynote Presentation

Automation, Machine Learning, and Robotics for Flow Chemistry Optimization
Klavs Jensen, Professor, Massachusetts Institute Of Technology, United States of America

Advances in flow chemistry enabled by automation, machine learning, robotics, and on-line analytics  are highlighted through case studies, including an automated droplet microfluidic electrochemistry platform for redox neutral electrochemistry, reaction optimization and characterization of kinetics, (2) an automated cascade of miniaturized continuous stirred tank reactors (CSTRs) for optimization of flow chemistry and photo-redox catalysis involving suspensions of solids, and (3) an automatic, robot assembled, reconfigurable modular micro/mini-fluidic system for execution and optimization of multistep reactions. Machine learning models for retrosynthesis and forward prediction combined with reaction context identification provide computer aided synthesis pathway planning for this system.  We describe and compare different optimization strategies and discuss challenges and opportunities in further integration of machine learning and synthesis platforms.


Tim JamisonKeynote Presentation

On-Demand Synthesis
Tim Jamison, Professor, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, United States of America

Flow chemistry has had–and will continue to have–many significant impacts on the synthesis of organic molecules.  Flow systems can reduce reaction times, increase efficiency, and obviate problems often encountered in scaling up comparable batch processes.  In addition to these important practical advantages, flow chemistry expands the “toolbox” of organic reactions available to scientists engaged in the synthesis of molecules – from small-scale experiments to large-scale production.  These benefits are a direct result of several features of flow synthesis that batch synthesis typically cannot achieve, for example, the ability to control fluid flow precisely, the access to temperature and pressure regimes not usually considered to be practical, and the enhanced safety characteristics of flow chemical systems.  In this lecture we will discuss some of our investigations in this area in the form of case studies.  By enhancing the design rules for organic synthesis and molecular discovery, flow chemistry therefore represents an important conceptual advance in the design and execution of chemical syntheses.  On-demand synthesis embodies these and other exciting opportunities.


Morning Coffee Break and Networking


Amanda EvansKeynote Presentation

Continuous Flow in the High Desert: Tales from Los Alamos National Laboratory
Amanda Evans, Scientist, Los Alamos National Laboratory, United States of America

Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) has a long history of using state-of-the-art technologies for making molecules and developing processes fundamental for securing the defense of the United States. Continuous flow processing paradigms and inline analytical technologies provide unique avenues for safely optimizing and scaling chemical syntheses while affording improved understanding and control of reaction kinetics. Examples of integration of continuous flow and inline analytics into diverse production practices at LANL will be presented, as will a discussion of how U.S. national labs (inclusive of the ISS) can benefit from the innovations that flow chemistry can provide for materials and medical countermeasures production.


In Space Production, Chemistry and Crystals
Ken Savin, Senior Program Director, In Space Production, International Space Station US National Lab, United States of America

Access to the microgravity environment of Low Earth Orbit offers industry production opportunities not possible terrestrially. This presentation will focus on ISS National Lab efforts around in-space production, manufacturing processes and intellectual-property generation with a focus on chemistry applications that enable new business growth and represent markets that could generate revenue from access to space. This is a unique opportunity to keep up with the production and IP opportunities for advanced materials products and pharmaceuticals.


Accelerated Development of Quantum Dots by Autonomous Robotic Experimentation in Flow
Milad Abolhasani, Assistant Professor, North Carolina State University, United States of America

In this talk, I will present the Artificial Chemist technology, that is, a modular flow chemistry platform operated by a machine learning-guided decision-making algorithm for accelerated development of energy-relevant colloidal nanomaterials. I will discuss the unique advantages of reconfigurable flow reactors for autonomous multi-step synthesis, optimization, and continuous manufacturing of colloidal quantum dots (QDs) for direct utilization in next-generation photonic devices. The Artificial Chemist can rapidly and efficiently (i) explore and learn the synthesis and processing universe of colloidal QDs, (ii) identify the composition and relevant synthesis and processing route(s) of QDs to achieve specific optical or optoelectronic properties, and (iii) continuously manufacture the rapidly optimized QDs at a fraction of time/cost of currently utilized batch techniques. The developed autonomous robotic experimentation strategy can be readily adapted for accelerated development and end-to-end manufacturing of other solution-processed nanomaterials.


Networking Lunch


A Systems Biology Approach to Post-Traumatic Osteoarthritis (PTOA) Disease Biology and Biomarkers
Begum Alaybeyoglu, Principal Scientist, Javelin Biotech, United States of America

Understanding metabolic dysregulation in musculoskeletal disorders facilitates discovery of biomarkers and supports development of disease modifying drugs (DMDs). Previous omics studies provided extensive knowledge and diagnostic marker candidates for osteoarthritis (OA), despite the lack of consensus in molecular signature due to disease heterogeneity and patient variability. Our study focused on circulating metabolites for investigation of non-invasive early biomarkers of post-traumatic OA (PTOA) to understand disease initiation and progression using an ex vivo human disease model. We studied the altered metabolism on earth and in space to demonstrate donor variability and effect of microgravity for discovery of early PTOA disease biomarkers and DMDs.


Initiating New Collaborations and Research Projects in Imaging and Space Health
Veerle Reumers, R&D Manager, imec, Belgium


Engineering High-Content Human-based Models for Potential Space Research
Y. Shrike Zhang, Assistant Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School, Associate Bioengineer, Division of Engineering in Medicine, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, United States of America

3D biofabrication offers great versatility in the generation of biomimetic volumetric tissues that are structurally and functionally relevant. This talk will discuss our recent efforts in developing high-content human-based models through biofabrication, which when combined with microfluidic chip-based systems, are likely to provide new opportunities for research benefiting human health both in space and on Earth.

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