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Russian scientists to print ceramics in outer space

The 3D Bioprinting Solutions Laboratory is planning to send synthetic materials and, possibly, living cells to the ISS in August
Organ-Avt 3D bioprinter Nikolai Galkin/TASS
Organ-Avt 3D bioprinter
© Nikolai Galkin/TASS

MOSCOW, March 5. /TASS/. Ceramics will be delivered to the International Space Station (ISS) to conduct experiments using the Organ-Avt 3D bioprinter, Managing Partner of 3D Bioprinting Solutions Laboratory Yusef Khesuani told TASS on Tuesday.

"In August, we want to send synthetic materials and, possibly, living cells. We have devised plans for more than ten sessions. But we will have somehow to split up experiments. Possibly, we will devise plans for two more sessions this year and then file a request for eight more," he said.

"In subsequent missions, we are also planning to send non-living materials - ceramics, which may be very useful in medicine, for example, in substituting the bone tissue," the scientist added.

In addition, the company is planning to deliver bacteria, beef cells to the ISS to print artificial meat and the cells of the organs of mice and humans, he said.

"I believe it would be nice to repeat the experiment with the human cartilage and the mice’s thyroid gland. This is needed just for control: to compare what we obtained for the first time and what we will get for the second time," the scientist said.

In December 2018, the world’s first experiment was conducted on the orbital outpost for the printing of living tissues using the Organ-Avt bioprinter developed by Invitro. At that time, Russian cosmonaut Oleg Kononenko printed the tissues of the mice’s thyroid gland and human cartilage on the space station.

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 biological samples were delivered back to Earth aboard the manned Soyuz MS-09 spacecraft on December 20.