Kidneys-on-a-chip return from space

June 10, 2019

Kidneys-on-a-chip return from space

Kidneys-on-a-chip that rocketed to the International Space Station in May returned via a Pacific Ocean splashdown June 3 in the same Dragon capsule. The devices, part of Tissue Chips in Space, are now back in Seattle.  Researchers with the UW School of Medicine and UW School of Pharmacy undertook this project to understand the effects of microgravity on kidney function. This information may help in protecting kidney health in astronauts and in people on Earth. Scientists will be analyzing the data from the space experiments the through the summer.

Chronic kidney disease is a prevalent problem, affecting about 15 percent of adults in the United States. Many don't even realize they have this illness and that it can lead to anemia, heart disease, or loss of bone health.  

"I want people to know that we’re trying really hard to prevent kidney disease, to cure kidney disease, to treat our patients with kidney disease, better, safer, more effectively and we’re doing anything we can," says Cathy Yeung, an investigator on the project and UW School of Pharmacy assistant professor.


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