Remote Controlled Autonomous Microgravity Lab Platforms for Drug Research in Space
Research conducted in microgravity conditions has the potential to yield new therapeutics, as advances can be achieved in the absence of phenomena such as sedimentation, hydrostatic pressure and thermally-induced convection. The outcomes of such studies can significantly contribute to many scientific and technological fields, including drug discovery. This article reviews the existing traditional microgravity platforms as well as emerging ideas for enabling microgravity research focusing on SpacePharma’s innovative autonomous remote-controlled microgravity labs that can be launched to space aboard nanosatellites to perform drug research in orbit. The scientific literature is reviewed and examples of life science fields that have benefited from studies in microgravity conditions are given. These include the use of microgravity environment for chemical applications (protein crystallization, drug polymorphism, self-assembly of biomolecules), pharmaceutical studies (microencapsulation, drug delivery systems, behavior and stability of colloidal formulations, antibiotic drug resistance), and biological research, including accelerated models for aging, investigation of bacterial virulence , tissue engineering using organ-on-chips in space, enhanced stem cells proliferation and differentiation.
KEY WORDSlab-on-chips microgravity research nanosatellites organ-on-chips parabolic flights
Active pharmaceutical ingredients
Center for the Advancement of Science in Space
Centre National d’Etudes Spatiales
Canadian Space Agency
Deutschen Zentrums für Luft- und Raumfahrt
European Space Agency
Human biliary tree stem/progenitor cells
Human mesenchymal stem cells
Indian Space Research Organization
International Space Station
Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency
Leucine-rich repeat kinase 2
Microencapsulation electrostatic processing system-II
Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus
National Aeronautics and Space Administration
National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences
National Institutes of Health
Random positioning machine
Rotating wall vessel
SpacePharma advanced microgravity lab
SpacePharma microgravity lab
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS AND DISCLOSURES
The author acknowledges funding support and grants to SpacePharma from the Israel Innovation Authority, Israel Space Agency, European H2020-SME2 grant 718,717, Italian Space Agency, US NIH/NCATS/NIBIB/CASIS Chips in Space projects grants 1-UG3-TR-002198-01 and 1-UG3-TR-002598-01. Dr. Sara Eyal from the Hebrew University is acknowledged for her helpful comments. The author is an employee of SpacePharma.
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