Poster Title

Redesign of a Cell Culture System to Investigate the Effects of Microgravity on Cytoskeletal Remodeling in Smooth Muscle

Grade Level at Time of Presentation

Junior

Institution

Morehead State University

KY House District #

99

KY Senate District #

27

Department

Biology and Chemistry

Abstract

Redesign of a Cell Culture System to Investigate the Effects of Microgravity on Cytoskeletal Remodeling in Smooth Muscle

Danielle Gibson, Callie M Arnold, Kaylee M Whitenack, and Dr. Michael E. Fultz

Department of Biology and Chemistry, Craft Academy at Morehead State University

There are few studies that have examined the effect of microgravity on the cytoskeleton in smooth muscle. Although they conclude that the phenotype of smooth muscle may be gravity dependent, those that have been performed have utilized simulated microgravity. Therefore, the effect of microgravity on the cytoskeletal elements essential for force generation and maintenance in smooth muscle remains poorly understood. The effect of microgravity on the alpha-actin, beta-actin, and myosin components of the cytoskeleton in resting and contracting A7r5 smooth muscle cells is the primary research focus. Collaboration between the Department of Biology and Chemistry, SpaceTango (Lexington, KY), and the Craft Academy for Excellence in Science and Mathematics, has resulted in a redesign of a cell culture system is that will allow for the culture, visualization, stimulation, and subsequent fixation of A7r5 cells aboard the International Space Station (ISS). Previous designs were limited by power availability prior to installation within TangoLab on the ISS. Upon return to Earth, components of the cytoskeleton will be examined by fluorescent microscopy to investigate if microgravity alters the characteristic remodeling observed on Earth.

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Redesign of a Cell Culture System to Investigate the Effects of Microgravity on Cytoskeletal Remodeling in Smooth Muscle

Redesign of a Cell Culture System to Investigate the Effects of Microgravity on Cytoskeletal Remodeling in Smooth Muscle

Danielle Gibson, Callie M Arnold, Kaylee M Whitenack, and Dr. Michael E. Fultz

Department of Biology and Chemistry, Craft Academy at Morehead State University

There are few studies that have examined the effect of microgravity on the cytoskeleton in smooth muscle. Although they conclude that the phenotype of smooth muscle may be gravity dependent, those that have been performed have utilized simulated microgravity. Therefore, the effect of microgravity on the cytoskeletal elements essential for force generation and maintenance in smooth muscle remains poorly understood. The effect of microgravity on the alpha-actin, beta-actin, and myosin components of the cytoskeleton in resting and contracting A7r5 smooth muscle cells is the primary research focus. Collaboration between the Department of Biology and Chemistry, SpaceTango (Lexington, KY), and the Craft Academy for Excellence in Science and Mathematics, has resulted in a redesign of a cell culture system is that will allow for the culture, visualization, stimulation, and subsequent fixation of A7r5 cells aboard the International Space Station (ISS). Previous designs were limited by power availability prior to installation within TangoLab on the ISS. Upon return to Earth, components of the cytoskeleton will be examined by fluorescent microscopy to investigate if microgravity alters the characteristic remodeling observed on Earth.