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SELECTBIO Conferences The Space Summit Europe 2020


Growing Tissues in Space

Daniela Grimm, Professor of Pharmacology and Space Medicine, Aarhus University

Background: Microgravity-based tissue engineering represents a new technology in gravitational biology and translational regenerative medicine. The aim of this presentation is to summarize recent findings observed when human cells were exposed to real microgravity in space or to simulated microgravity using ground-based facilities.

Methods: Follicular thyroid cancer cells and endothelial cells were investigated during international spaceflights in orbit or on the International Space Station (ISS). Postflight the cells were analyzed by histological and molecular biological methods.
In addition, cell biological experiments using the three-dimensional (3D) Random Positioning Machine (RPM) or the two-dimensional (2D) Fast Rotating Clinostat (FRC) were performed.

Results: Exposing the cells to microgravity two phenotypes occurred: one part of the cells detached from the culture flask bottom and grew in form of 3D multicellular spheroids (MCS), the other one continued growing as a 2D monolayer. Interestingly, this 3D-formation occurred scaffold-free. MCS formed by thyroid cancer cells were more spherical aggregates, whereas endothelial cells exhibited both tube formation (intima constructs) and 3D MCS. Notably, the density of the monolayers exposed to microgravity had an impact on cell detachment and 3D structure formation. Genomic and proteomic alterations were induced by altered gravity conditions. Biological processes such as proliferation, migration, the composition of the extracellular matrix proteins, cell adhesion, focal adhesions, and apoptosis are influencing 3D growth under microgravity conditions. The gene expression patterns of growth factors (e.g. VEGF, EGF), extracellular matrix components (e.g. FN1), focal adhesion molecules (TLN1, VCL, CDH1) and cytokines (IL6, IL8) were differentially regulated and a large number of regulative factors have been shown to be involved in spheroid formation in microgravity.

Conclusions: Exposure of cells to microgravity induced 3D growth. Different phenotypes occurred and multicellular spheroids displayed a different gene expression profile involving important biological processes compared to monolayer cells.

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Add to Calendar ▼2020-09-10 00:00:002020-09-11 00:00:00Europe/LondonThe Space Summit Europe 2020The Space Summit Europe 2020 in Rotterdam, The NetherlandsRotterdam, The