The Houston Methodist Research Institute’s newly created Center of Space Nanomedicine is working with the Center for the Advancement of Science in Space (CASIS) to send eight experiments to the International Space Station (ISS) over the next five years. The first experiment launched on April 8.
Led by Alessandro Grattoni, Ph.D., the Houston Methodist center focuses on the development and testing of technologies in four areas – diagnostic and therapeutic biomedical devices for precision medicine, nanotherapeutics for targeted drug delivery, regenerative medicine and tissue engineering.
A microgravity experiment to study the diffusion of drug-like particles was the first scheduled project to launch aboard Space X-8 in 2016. The project is focused on mimicking on a larger scale the diffusion of drug molecules in nanochannels by adopting microparticles in microchannels (2-8 micrometers), where their movement will not be influenced by gravity, and their larger size will enable visualization through microscopes. Researchers still do not have a clear picture about the physics of how drug particles behave as they diffuse through tight nanospaces.