Frontiers for Young Minds, 2024

By Kevin Tabury, Emil Rehnberg, Bjorn Baselet, Sarah Baatout, Lorenzo Moroni

Living in space is not as simple as living on Earth. The environment in space is harmful for humans. Astronauts experience weightlessness and are exposed to dangerous radiation. On top of that, astronauts live in a tiny area, far from their loved ones. All our organs are harmed by these factors. The heart, for example, starts to age much quicker in space than on Earth. This means that astronauts have a higher risk of heart disease after going to space. It is therefore important that we investigate why this happens so that we can prevent it. In the past, these studies were based on experiments using animals or humans. Today, we can create mini-hearts in the lab for our experiments instead. In this article, we will explain how we make mini-hearts and how they help us understand and prevent the heart’s aging in space.

Preparatory research

Advanced Healthcare Materials, 14 June 2023

By Kevin Tabury, Emil Rehnberg, Bjorn Baselet, Sarah Baatout, Lorenzo Moroni

Bioprinting in space is the next frontier in tissue engineering. In the absence of gravity, novel opportunities arise, as well as new challenges. The cardiovascular system needs particular attention in tissue engineering, not only to develop safe countermeasures for astronauts in future deep and long-term space missions, but also to bring solutions to organ transplantation shortage. In this perspective, the challenges encountered when using bioprinting techniques in space and current gaps that need to be overcome are discussed. The recent developments that have been made in the bioprinting of heart tissues in space and an outlook on potential future bioprinting opportunities in space are described.