WASHINGTON, June 9, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Methuselah Foundation, which co-sponsored the Vascular Tissue Challenge with NASA, today announced the award-winning researchers achieved scientific breakthroughs that promise to dramatically change the future of human health.
The first- and second-place Challenge winners announced by NASA today are the first scientific teams to engineer and sustain thick functioning human tissue in a lab. The Challenge, first conceived by Methuselah Foundation in 2013, was conducted to increase the pace of bioengineering innovations to benefit humans on Earth and future space explorers.
The successful teams achieved the first step toward routinely growing human organs to replace those damaged by disease or trauma. Researchers can build on these achievements to eventually 3D print edible meats, human tissues and, ultimately, replacement human organs.
"Methuselah Foundation is extremely proud that the NASA/Methuselah Challenge brings us closer to the day when medicine can regenerate organs to prolong both lifespan and quality of life for people around the world," said David Gobel, the Foundation's CEO. "When we proposed the challenge to NASA in 2013, we had hoped it would result in just this kind of scientific advancement. We congratulate these talented scientists and eagerly look forward to their continued trailblazing in coming years."
Eleven teams competed in the Challenge to produce an in-vitro, vascularized organ tissue that is more than 1 centimeter thick. Winning tissue had to provide adequate blood flow and survive at least 30 days.
The first-place winner was Team Winston from the Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine, affiliated with Wake Forest School of Medicine. The team, led by Dr. James Yoo, was awarded $300,000. It will also receive $200,000 from CASIS (Center for the Advancement of Science in Space}, to fund the cost of conducting a tissue generation experiment in zero gravity.
The second-place winner was Team WFIRM, also from the Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine. That team, led by Dr. Anthony Atala, was awarded $100,000.
Both groups created lab-grown human liver tissues that were robust enough to survive and function like healthy liver tissue found inside our bodies. Winning entries were built using 3D printing technologies. Ongoing progress will ultimately enable physicians to 3D print human organs with a patient's unique DNA.
The Vascular Tissue Challenge is one of two initiatives in which Methuselah has partnered with NASA. A second, the Deep Space Food Challenge, is a competition to create food and optimized nutrition production technologies to produce healthy, and even healing foods for long-duration space missions.
About Methuselah Foundation
Methuselah Foundation is a biomedical charity established in 2001, and named after Methuselah, the grandfather of Noah in the Hebrew Bible, whose lifespan was recorded as 969 years. The Foundation's mission is to make age 90 the new 50 by 2030. The organization has funded independent longevity research, underwritten several international competitions aimed at promoting scientific breakthroughs, financed dozens of companies and initiatives developing products to extend the healthy human lifespan and created or sponsored four other foundations and venture funds to promote the mission of extending healthy life. For more information, visit the Foundation website, or check it out on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram or LinkedIn.
For more information, contact:
Florina Gobel, Methuselah Foundation
[email protected] or
Jim Martinez, rightstorygroup
[email protected] or
SOURCE Methuselah Foundation