OSTEO-D will utilize Bio Serve’s space qualified, automated Fluid Processing Apparatus (i.e.
In the near future, human spaceflight via commercial enterprises holds the promise of providing orbital access to paying customers who undoubtedly will expect a medically and operationally acceptable, cost-effective countermeasure to mitigate the risk of bone loss and musculoskeletal injury.
Commercial orbital spaceflight missions provide a microgravity platform to investigate bone regulatory pathways.
Better understanding of these pathways may lead to novel countermeasures for both terrestrial diseases, such as osteoporosis, and space-induced bone loss.
Osteocytes are the most abundant cells in bone, and microgravity analog models have recently shown that osteocytes, through the Sclerostin-mediated Wnt signaling pathway, act as key cellular sensors of bone mechanotransduction and regulators of bone formation and resorption.
To date, no spaceflight microgravity experiments have been conducted with osteocyte-like cell lines to quantify on-orbit Sclerostin activity.
We propose to test the hypothesis that microgravity will increase Sclerostin expression and decrease osteocyte cell number and size, demonstrating the Sclerostin pathway as a prime target for drug development.
Our team, comprised of investigators from the Harvard-MIT Health Sciences and Technology (HST) Bioastronautics Ph D Program in cooperation with the University of Colorado at Boulder Bio Serve Space Technologies, submit OSTEO-D (“Osteocytes Space Testbed Experiment Onboard Dragon”) for the Heinlein Prize.
The Harvard-MIT Joint Center for Urban Studies was formed in 1959 to address "intellectual and policy issues confronting a nation experiencing widespread demographic, economic and social change.
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Five decades after the launch of the first person into space, bone loss and associated skeletal fragility remain difficult challenges.