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Methods Collections

Methods in microgravity

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Methods Collections
Methods in microgravity

Guest Editors
Ian Johnson

Research in Space Environments Group, UniSA Clinical and Health Sciences, University of South Australia, Adelaide, Australia

Dr. Johnson is the leading expert in space biology in UniSA, Adelaide, South Australia. He is a research fellow within…

Roxy Fournier

University of Toronto

Dr Fournier received her PhD in 2020 from the University of Toronto, working with a nationally recognized expert in cell…

Marcus Krüger

Cell and Tumor Biology Group, Department of Microgravity and Translational Regenerative Medicine, Otto von Guericke University Magdeburg

Dr Marcus Krüger is leader of the Cell and Tumor Biology Group in the Department of Microgravity and Translational…

Collection Overview

Human biology has been crafted by gravity and, so too, has disease pathogenesis. Zero g, or microgravity, provides a unique environment for the study of human development and disease that has, until recently, been relatively inaccessible. More than fifty years after the first human missions into space, few would have imagined that we could investigate fundamental cell biology pathways using this environment. Space biology integrates cutting edge cell biology and engineering, providing new avenues to analyse cellular systems, the outcomes of which can be applied to biological processes and pathologies such as cancer or aging-related disease. Importantly, microgravity environments can be simulated on Earth, providing a more accessible and less costly route to microgravity experimentation. This can be achieved using benchtop hardware such as using clinostats, rotating wall vessels, and random positioning machines, or in parabolic flight and sounding rocket campaigns. Investigations of cell biology in space-like environments have revealed significant insights into disease, such as the ability for cells to spontaneously grow multicellular spheroids, providing a model to study cancer pathogenesis and metastasis. As a result of this expanding and important field, this Methods Collection aims to amalgamate the multitude of innovative hardware and techniques that can be used in microgravity research, providing detailed information to assist in performing accurate and reproducible space-based biology investigations.


Reliable Soft Tissue Thickness Quantification via Ultrasonography and Automated Image Processing in the Microgravity Context

Ya-Yu Monica Hew1, Harsh C. Patel1, Jens Tank2, Jens Jordan2, Ulrich Limper*2
1Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Stanford University, Stanford, CA, USA, 2German Aerospace Center (DLR), Institute of Aerospace Medicine, Cologne, Germany

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