Medical Technology

The Medical Advances Set for Low Gravity

What to know:

  • The Biomanufacturing in Space Symposium held in December 2020 aimed to create a roadmap to a sustainable market for biomanufacturing in low earth orbit space, such as at the International Space Station (ISS).

  • Now, a paper in Stem Cell Reports discusses the symposium’s implications, including by highlighting the three areas with the most promising commercial opportunities: disease modeling, biofabrication, and stem-cell derived products.

  • Low-gravity conditions provide a useful environment to study the development of diseases because of accelerated bone loss and aging that take place.

  • For biofabrication, scientists hope that the ability to conduct 3D printing in the absence of gravity will allow them to print unique shapes, like organoids and cardiac tissue, that could not be created within the Earth’s atmosphere.

  • Finally, low earth orbit space may provide a key to rapidly producing some types of stem cells at a massive scale. Although the symposium participants agreed that near-term investment should be in improving terrestrial production, one day this production could be conducted at a facility like the ISS National Laboratory.

This is a summary of the article “Opportunities for Spaceflight to Advance Stem Cell Science, Biomanufacturing, and Disease Modeling” published by GEN on January 3, 2022. The full article can be found on

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