Living tissue 'printed' in space for the first time

Living tissue ‘printed’ in space for the first time

by Steve Dent, Engadget

Cosmonauts aboard the ISS bioprinted human cartilage and a rodent thyroid.

Russian cosmonauts have printed living tissue in space for the first time after their first effort was thwarted by a Soyuz capsule accident. Using a bioprinter created by medical company Invitro, cosmonaut-researcher Oleg Kononenko printed human cartilage tissue and a rodent thyroid gland, according to Parabolic Arc. The aim is to see how space microgravity affects the development of living tissues and organs, with an eye to expanded human space travel in the future.

The experiment was supposed to have happened in October 2018, but the Soyuz MS-10 spacecraft carrying cosmonaut Alexey Ovchinin and the bioprinter suffered a booster failure, forcing the crew to abort. Both Ovchinin and astronaut Nick Hague escaped safely, but the printer was significantly damaged. A backup was quickly prepared and the new crew, including Kononenko, were trained on its use. They launched to the ISS again on December 3rd, and the bioprinting experiments commenced shortly afterwards.

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