Sunday , April 18 2021

UA College collaborates with Space Tango to test a diagnostic tool in space

PHOENIX – Researchers at the College of Medicine at the University of Arizona – Phoenix collaborate with Space Space Space Spacecraft, which designs, builds and manages objects at the International Space Station to develop an easy way to test the health of astronauts in space.

Led by the Director and Professor Dr. Frederick Zenhaern, an MBA, the US Center for Applied Nanobiology and Medicine (ANBM) received three independent NASA grants. The latest funding will allow researchers to develop a diagnostic tool – a miniature syringe device that can detect bioagents and hundreds of biomarkers in blood or saliva – and test it in space.

"This is the next step in the evolution of this technology to use test flight," said Dr. Zenhausern, referring to the "vertical flow" device, a new technology patented and licensed by Tech Launch Arizona, which helps to introduce UA innovation in world through commercial roads.

Center researcher Jian Gu, PhD, Associate Professor at the Core Medical Science Department College, will work with a Kentucky-based company to integrate the diagnostic platform into automated space tango hardware.

Jana Stoudemire, director of commercial innovation at Space Tango, said the company was pleased to partner with the UA College of Medicine research team – Phoenix. The device will be part of the load placed in one of its autonomous CubeLabs that can provide real-time data and monitoring in microgravity.

"Everything in CubeLab must be extremely well designed and easy to use in the contained environment of the space mission and the International Space Station," she said.

The basic questions that the researchers should answer are: How to take a sample of blood or saliva in microgravity and how is it processed by an astronaut on the way to Mars?

Dr Zenhausern said in the first grant NASA grant, the device's chemistry was tested for protein markers. Its application for the detection of nucleic acid was demonstrated under the second NASA Humanity Research Award, led by the Center's researcher, Dr. Jerome Lacomb, assistant professor at the primary medical school at the medical school.

This latest grant – $ 100,000 from NASA and its Institute for Translation Research on Space Health – will monitor the development of the Diagnostic Test using the human factor in order to confirm its performance in microgravity.

"What is exciting is that NASA invests more in space exploration and looks at human health as the first priority for success in long-lasting missions," Dr. Zenhaern said. "So far there has been very little monitoring of astronauts' health, but deep space travel will require state-of-the-art technology for the health and performance of astronauts."

The latest news about the health of US astronaut Scott Kelly, who spent a year at the International Space Station within the limits of microgravity, called into question the promise of long-term travel with people. Other reports earlier this year that the space flight could trigger sleepy viruses like shingles, chickenpox and herpes increase the importance of developing ways to track and treat the health conditions of astronauts in space.

Lero Chiao, PhD, a former NASA astronaut, commander of the International Space Station and an ANBM consultant, said he was not surprised by the March report.

"We know that under stress, certain genes can be included and excluded," he said. "Your body in space is under stress, so it makes sense that stress can cause some genes to get involved and others get excluded."

Dr Chiao said that one of the major problems of many astronauts is how their bodies react to exposure to radiation. He said he was impressed by the Center's latest project and its portfolio of technologies for countermeasures of radiation. "If this does not make one step closer to learning more about radiation resistance, it's great," he said.


For UA College of Medicine – Phoenix

Founded in 2007, the College of Medicine at the University of Arizona – Phoenix inspires and trains exemplary doctors, scientists and leaders to optimize health and health care in Arizona and beyond. By cultivating joint research at the local and global level, the college accelerates detection in a number of critical areas – including cancer, stroke, traumatic brain injury and cardiovascular disease. Completed as a student-oriented campus, the college graduates 433 doctors, all of whom received exceptional training from nine clinical partners and 1800 different faculty members. As an anchor on the Phoenix Biomedical Campus, which is projected to have an economic impact of $ 3.1 billion by 2025, the college prides itself on engaging with the community, encouraging education, inclusion, access and advocacy. For more information, visit

For the Tango space

Space Tango provides enhanced access to microgravity through their Open Orbit platform for research and commercial production applications that benefit life on Earth. The company believes that the environment of microgravity is a new discovery and innovation edge. Space tango is focused on creating a new global market, 250 kilometers in low Earth orbit and predicts a future where the next important discoveries in health and technology will emerge on the planet. Recognized for their expertise in design and operations for microgravity, Space Tango believes that by researching with industry and education partners of all sorts, we can improve life on Earth and inspire the next generation to continue to expand the horizon of this new border. For more information, visit http: //

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