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AstroSkin

Eline Radstake

AstroSkin

2022

Human skin cells

1 x 1 x 1 cm

status:

Returned

By exposing human skin cells to a combination of simulated models of microgravity, ionizing radiation, and psychological stress, we aim to get a clearer understanding of how these spaceflight stressors interact and affect a proper functioning of the human skin.

Voyager Space
Nanoracks LLC
Moon Gallery Foundation

In space, microgravity, ionizing radiation and increased levels of psychological stress, pose challenges on the human body. Astronauts on long-duration space missions report skin rashes, itches, and decreased wound healing. Investigation upon return after long-duration space missions show skin aging-related symptoms.


To overcome these issues, more knowledge about the effect of the spaceflight environment on the skin is needed. While access to space at present day and valuable astronaut data is still limited, researchers are recreating the space environment on Earth to investigate how the simulated space environment affects human health. By exposing human skin cells to a combination of simulated models of microgravity, ionizing radiation, and psychological stress, we aim to get a clearer understanding of how these spaceflight stressors interact and affect a proper functioning of the human skin.


In this work, we have exposed human skin cells to either microgravity, ionizing radiation, stress hormones or a combination of these factors. We then investigate how skin cells are affected by looking at how they migrate into an open wound area. During migration, cells continuously rearrange their cytoskeleton, a complex network of interlinking proteins providing the cells their shape and structure and mechanical support for functions such as cell division and movement. Targeting specific proteins in their cytoskeleton and labeling them with a fluorescent label makes it possible to visualize these important proteins under a fluorescent microscope. Hence, we are able to observe how the cells perform this cytoskeleton rearrangement during migration after exposure to the simulated spaceflight environment. Especially microgravity seems to affect this process, resulting in wrongly arranged cytoskeleton and reduced cell motility.

Technical information

artist

Eline Radstake

title

AstroSkin

date

2022

this work is part of the following collection

Moon Gallery

medium

Human skin cells

dimensions

1 x 1 x 1 cm

genre

Sculpture

IAAA art style

Launch

launch date

19 Feb 2022

launch  vehicle

Antares 230+ / NG-17 Cygnus resupply mission

Orbit

host 

International Space Station

location

LEO, International Space Station (ISS)

launch location

NASA Wallops Flight Facility, Virginia

Return

return date

11 January 2023

return vehicle

SpaceX Dragon 2

status

Returned

launch vehicle COSPAR id

2022-015B

partners

Voyager Space
Nanoracks LLC
Moon Gallery Foundation

Artist

Eline Radstake

Scientist, researcher

The Netherlands

Collection

Moon Gallery

2022

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