LOUISVILLE — Aerospace manufacturer Sierra Space Corp. and BioServe Space Technologies, a research center at the University of Colorado, are partnering on an experiment aimed at growing stem cells in space.
The investigation seeks to “grow hematopoietic stem cells in microgravity to better help patients on Earth undergoing treatment for blood cancer,” SSC said in a news release. “… For the in-space experiment, Sierra Space, BioServe and the study team sent stem cell samples from multiple umbilical cord blood donors to look for beneficial differences during the cell growth experiment.”
The experiment also involves researchers from the Mayo Clinic and ClinImmune at the University of Colorado Medical Campus.
“Approximately every nine minutes, a family loses a loved one to leukemia, lymphoma or myeloma. If we can mass-produce hematopoietic stem cells by using the unique microgravity environment of space, I think about the transformational impact we will have on patients and their families,” Sierra Space CEO Tom Vice said in the release. “This experiment, to see if we can grow hematopoietic stem cells in space in larger quantities, is a precursor to what Sierra Space one day envisages — orbiting microgravity factories that enable the next breakthroughs in human health care that will have a profound impact on the quality and longevity of millions of people here on Earth. Microgravity, the next foundational tech, will lead to the most amazing Industrial Revolution in history.”