Why Tumours, Organoids and Spheroids in Space?


It is generally recognised within the research community that the optimisation and widespread implementation of 3D cell culture in vitro systems will revolutionise the drug development & testing industry as a whole by replacing in vivo models as the gold standard.
However, many of the obstacles facing the development of 3D cell culturing platforms for drug discovery & testing can be traced back to one issue: gravity. Using space to solve problems related to (personalized) medicine testing and discovery can be very effective not only with developing personalized treatments, but also in increasing the rate of drug approval by using more relevant and realistic models than insufficient and inadequate in vitro assays utilizing two-dimensional monolayers of cells and animal models.

The problem with gravity

3D organoids and spheroids are currently grown through the utilisation of primary human tissue or pluripotent stem cells. These models exhibit multicellular self organisation and organ functionality, are capable of self renewal, and can remain stable for extended periods of time during cultivation.
Current limitations on Earth for culture and application of organoids used for in vitro models, drug development/optimization and personalized medication are in general described by common customer pains. 

M4PM value proposition

The M4PM tumours, organoids and spheroids in space will be grown in a low shear environment to more heterogeneously sized high-quality 3D constructs which can be used for in-Space drug screening, drug optimisation, disease modelling and personalized medicine (e.g. cancer treatments) either for industrial pre-clinical testing or academic research purposes. 
Added values of space-grown tumours, organoids and spheroids:
  • High-quality tumours, organoids, spheroids with homogeneous larger sizes than usually obtained under 1g conditions
  • Specific Space-phenotypes (e.g. aged phenotypes)
  • Reduction of necrotic cores at the same sizes
  • The flexibility to avoid or reduce the use of scaffolds or Matrigel for growth of such organoids and spheroids

How microgravity helps

In summary: having more reproducible results from in vitro tissues, organoids, spheroids models for modelling of diseases and testing drugs and less need for animal models

What will M4PM offer?

  • Tumours, Organoids and Spheroids as products for pharmaceutical and biotechnology testing
  • High Throughput Screening using Tissues, Organoids and Spheroids for pharmaceutical and biotechnology testing
  • Higher quality results, difficult or impossible to obtain on Earth, enabled by microgravity
  • first of its kind international community of researchers and experts in relevant and related fields
Lung organoids (Molecular Devices)
Read more about the M4PM Community, its goals and intended purposes and how to join