NASA issues human bioengineering challenge to aid space exploration

NASA issues human bioengineering challenge to aid space exploration

NASA has issued a half million dollar challenge to develop metabolically-functional human tissue to help study the effect of deep space on astronauts.

The Vascular Tissue Challenge prize money will be split between the first three teams to successfully produce thick, metabolically-functional human vascularized organ tissue in a controlled laboratory environment.

The tissue from this challenge will be used as organ analogues to study deep space environmental effects, such as radiation, and to develop strategies to minimize the damage to healthy cells.

Successful competitors will need to produce vascularized tissue that is more than 1cm thick and maintains more than 85% survival over a 30-day trial period. Teams must demonstrate three successful trials with at least a 75% success rate to win an award.

NASA’s challenge was announced as part of the White House Organ Summit, which aims to highlight efforts to improve outcomes for patients waiting for organ transplants and support for living donors.

The New Organ Alliance, which is administering the competition on behalf of NASA, is a non-profit organization focused on regenerative medicine research and development to benefit human disease research and tissue engineering.

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