A 3D BioFabrication Facility (BFF) developed by nScrypt and Techshot and designed to 3D print thick tissue and organs using adult stem cells will launch to the International Space Station (ISS) aboard the next SpaceX cargo resupply mission.
- In-Space Manufacturing
Microgravity Research Payloads
- Organic Tissue
Organs on chips (OOC)
- In development
- First launch
During the companies years of research, it was found that 3D bioprinted soft, easily flowing biomaterials (i.e, human tissue) collapse under their own weight. However, these same materials are able to maintain their shapes when produced in the microgravity environment of space.
Thus, these structures, which will consist of blood vessels and muscle, will be 3D bioprinted in space and placed in a cell-culturing system that strengthens them over time. This will permit them to become viable, self-supporting tissues that will remain solid once back on Earth.
The initial phase for BFF, which could last an estimated two years, will involve creating test prints of cardiac-like tissue of increasing thickness. The following phase will involve an Earth-based evaluation of heart patches manufactured in space under a microscope and potentially in small animals such as rats. This is expected to last through 2024.