Emulate Brain-Chip to Study the Effects of Microgravity on Human Brain Physiology at the International Space Station

BOSTON, December 21, 2021 (Emulate PR) – Emulate, Inc., a leading provider of next-generation in vitro models, today announced that the Brain-Chip was sent to the International Space Station U.S. National Laboratory (ISS National Lab) to study the effects of microgravity on human brain physiology as part of the Tissue-Chips in Space initiative sponsored by the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the International Space Station National Lab (ISS-NL). The ISS provides an environment where researchers can study human health in microgravity, allowing them to isolate the effects of gravity from other factors that can impact brain cell function. 

The Emulate Brain-Chip is the most comprehensive in vitro model of the human neurovascular unit, including the blood-brain barrier (BBB), for preclinical research. It contains five cell types in a dynamic and tunable microenvironment, resulting in in vivo-like gene expression and phenotypic response. Each chip is about the size of a USB thumb drive and contains two fluidic channels separated by a porous membrane. The vascular channel is lined with brain microvascular endothelial cells, while the brain channel contains cortical neurons, astrocytes, pericytes, and microglia. This allows researchers to study BBB function, the ability of drugs to cross the BBB, and the complex cell-cell interactions involved in brain physiology, disease, and drug response.

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SpaceX CRS-24 Launching Multiple Life Science Investigations to International Space Station

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla., December 15, 2021 (CASIS PR) – The microgravity environment on the International Space Station (ISS) has a profound impact on cells and tissues, allowing researchers to conduct life sciences research in ways not possible on the ground. SpaceX’s 24th Commercial Resupply Services (CRS) mission to the orbiting laboratory will deliver a variety of life science payloads sponsored by the ISS National Lab. From stem cell research on neurodegenerative diseases to a tissue chip experiment studying the blood-brain barrier and an investigation testing the use of bacteria to protect DNA from the stresses of spaceflight—the research launching on this mission is helping to improve the quality of life for people on Earth.

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SpaceX Dragon Returns ISS National Lab-sponsored Payloads to Earth

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla., April 7, 2020 (ISS National Lab PR) – SpaceX’s Dragon spacecraft successfully splashed down today off the coast of California, bringing back dozens of research investigations sponsored by the International Space Station (ISS) U.S. National Laboratory.

The successful splashdown and science return marks the completion of SpaceX’s 20th commercial resupply services (CRS) mission to the space station (contracted by NASA) to send critical research and supplies to the orbiting laboratory. The Dragon spacecraft spent approximately 30 days berthed to the space station before returning to Earth.

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CASIS, NIH Sponsor Human Physiology & Disease Experiments on ISS

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla., June 20, 2017 (CASIS PR The Center for the Advancement of Science in Space (CASIS) and the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), today announced five grants have been awarded in response to a funding opportunity focused on human physiology and disease onboard the International Space Station (ISS) U.S. National Laboratory. Data from this research — which will feature “tissue chips” (or “organs-on-chips”) — will help scientists develop and advance novel technologies to improve human health here on Earth.

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