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First results of living tissue printing on orbital outpost to be unveiled in January

The researchers are expected to get the material in late December

MOSCOW, December 11. /TASS/. The first results of the experiment to print living tissues on the International Space Station (ISS) using the Invitro bioprinter will be released by late January, Invitro Projects Head, Managing Partner Yusef Khesuani told TASS on Tuesday.

The biological material printed in outer space will return to Earth aboard the Soyuz MS-09 spacecraft on December 20, he said.

"On the 20th day [of December] in the evening, we will get this material and on December 21 we will carry out a primary analysis. Further on, we will see how the constructs gathered and how they behaved. I believe that we will get the primary results by late January," Khesuani said.

As Russia’s Federal Space Agency Roscosmos said earlier, the experiment to print living tissues aboard the ISS using the 3D bioprinter was conducted by cosmonaut Oleg Kononenko. Specifically, "the organic construct of the mouse’s thyroid gland has been created in the zero-gravity conditions," the Roscosmos press office earlier 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.