NASA announces $500,000 worth prize competition to develop human vascularized organ tissue
NASA is collaborating with a non-profit organization, Methuselah Foundation's New Organ Alliance, for a new prize competition worth $500,000. Main aim of the Vascular Tissue Challenge is to bring advancements in the field of bioengineering.
The prize would be divided in the first three winning teams that would create thick, metabolically-functional human vascularized organ tissue in a lab environment. The competition’s result would have the potential to bring significant advancements in the field of healthcare on earth.
The New Organ Alliance is supervising the competition on the behalf of NASA. Experts said that the vascularized, thick-tissue models that will be developed in the competition with be used for different purposes including organ analogs or models that would be used to study deep space environmental effects. They would also be used to develop strategies to lessen the damage to healthy cells.
The teams would be required to demonstrate three successful trials with at least a 75% success rate to win an award. In addition to the lab trials, the team would also be required to submit a proposal detailing on their advancement steps.
If these effects would already be studied that it would lessen negative effects of space travel on humans during long duration, deep space missions. The vascularized tissue on earth could be used for the purpose of pharmaceutical testing or disease modeling.
The new challenge forms to be the part of White House Organ Summit. In addition, the Center for the Advancement of Science in Space (CASIS) has announced a follow-on prize competition in partnership with the New Organ Alliance and the Methuselah Foundation.
In this competition, researchers will be given an opportunity to carry out research in microgravity conditions. CASIS will provide one team up to $200,000 along with transportation to the ISS National Laboratory.
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