MOSCOW, December 6. /TASS/. Russian cosmonaut Oleg Kononenko who arrived at the International Space Station (ISS) on December 3 has started an experiment to print living tissues on the 3D-bioprinter delivered to the orbital outpost by the new crew, Russia’s State Space Corporation Roscosmos reported on Thursday.
"As of now, the first results of the experiment have already been obtained: the organic construct of the mouse’s thyroid gland has been created in the zero-gravity conditions," the Roscosmos press office said.
Three ISS members - Russian cosmonaut Sergei Prokopyev, US astronaut Serena Aunon-Chancellor and German astronaut Alexander Gerst (the European Space Agency) are due to return to Earth after their long expedition on December 20. They will bring to Earth the tissues and samples obtained during the experiment for their subsequent study. In early 2019, the results of the data obtained will be made public, Roscosmos said.
The Organ-Avt bioprinter developed to carry out the world’s first experiment for printing living tissues was delivered to the space station on December 3 aboard the manned Soyuz MS-11 spacecraft.
The magnetic 3D-bioprinter has been devised to grow living tissues and eventually organs and it can also be used to study the influence of outer space conditions on living organisms during lengthy flights.
The experiment has been devised by 3D Bioprinting Solutions, a bio-technical research laboratory, which is a Russian start-up and a subsidiary of Invitro company.
The plans to deliver the bioprinter’s first copy failed after the aborted launch of the Soyuz-FG booster with the manned Soyuz MS-10 spacecraft from the Baikonur spaceport on October 11.
The magnetic 3D-bioprinter project, which is being implemented by 3D Bioprinting Solutions, Roscosmos and Invitro, was launched in 2016. Under the project, the bioprinter has been created to print living tissues and organic constructs in the zero-gravity conditions.