Klement, B.J. and B.S. Spooner. 1997. Assessment of three types of spaceflight hardware for tissue culture studies: Comparison of skeletal tissue growth and differentiation. In "Space Technology and Applications International Forum; Second Conference on Commercial Development of Space" (M. S. El-Genk, ed.), Amer. Inst. Physics Press, Woodbury, New York, pp. 927-932.
Three different types of spaceflight hardware, the BioProcessing Module (BPM), the Materials Dispersion Apparatus (MDA), and the Fluid Processing Apparatus (FPA), were assessed for their ability to support premetatarsal growth and differentiation in experiments conducted on five space shuttle flights. BPM-cultured premetatarsal tissue showed no difference in flight and ground control lengths. Flight and ground controls cultured in the MDA grew 135um and 141um respectively, in an 11 day experiment. Only five control rods and three flight rods mineralized. In another MDA experiment, pre-metatarsals were cultured at 4oC (277K) or 20oC (293K) for the 16 day mission, then cultured an additional 16 days in laboratory dishes at 37oC (310K). The 20oC (293K) cultures died post-flight. The 4oC (277K) flight pre-metatarsals grew 417um more than the 4oC (277K) ground controls post-flight. In 5 and 6 day experiments done in FPAs, flight rods grew longer than ground control rods. In a 14 day experiment, ground control and flight rods also expanded in length, but there was no difference between them. The pre-metatarsals cultured in the FPAs did not mineralize, or terminally differentiate. These experiments demonstrate, that while supporting pre-metatarsal growth in length, the three types of hardware are not suitable to support routine differentiation.
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