Poster Title

The Viability of Rehydrated Blood in Zero Gravity

Grade Level at Time of Presentation

Junior

Major

Biology and Psychology

Institution

University of Louisville

KY House District #

41

KY Senate District #

35

Department

Dept. of Biology

Abstract

Space, the final frontier has been fascinating us for hundreds of years and space travel has only just recently become possible in our species history. The farthest we have traveled in space is the closest object to our home planet, the moon. There are many challenges that come with interplanetary travel that will directly impact the success for the mission to Mars planned to occur around the year 2033. A major problem planning long-duration space flight will be the question on how to deal with emergency situations. What happens if someone gets hurt or needs a blood transfusion? Blood can currently only be stored refrigerated for 42 days at 4 °C (39 °F). This is a serious problem for astronauts because they would only have access to transfusable blood units for the first 42 days of the voyage and would have to spend very valuable energy and space to maintain the blood at 4° C. Our lab has determined a solution to this problem by developing a technique to maintain blood viability despite being in in a dried state at room temperature. However, it is unknown how dried blood powdered will mix with liquids during rehydration in space without gravity to aid in the mixing process. NASA has provided us with funds to test how rehydration of blood will be affected by simulated zero gravity. Rehydration is a gravity mediated process and our laboratory has developed techniques where gravity may not be needed during the rehydration process. We will be testing these rehydration techniques during conditions of microgravity on board of a reduced-gravity aircraft during parabolic flight maneuvers and the results will be discussed. (Supported by NASA-80NSSC18K1664).

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The Viability of Rehydrated Blood in Zero Gravity

Space, the final frontier has been fascinating us for hundreds of years and space travel has only just recently become possible in our species history. The farthest we have traveled in space is the closest object to our home planet, the moon. There are many challenges that come with interplanetary travel that will directly impact the success for the mission to Mars planned to occur around the year 2033. A major problem planning long-duration space flight will be the question on how to deal with emergency situations. What happens if someone gets hurt or needs a blood transfusion? Blood can currently only be stored refrigerated for 42 days at 4 °C (39 °F). This is a serious problem for astronauts because they would only have access to transfusable blood units for the first 42 days of the voyage and would have to spend very valuable energy and space to maintain the blood at 4° C. Our lab has determined a solution to this problem by developing a technique to maintain blood viability despite being in in a dried state at room temperature. However, it is unknown how dried blood powdered will mix with liquids during rehydration in space without gravity to aid in the mixing process. NASA has provided us with funds to test how rehydration of blood will be affected by simulated zero gravity. Rehydration is a gravity mediated process and our laboratory has developed techniques where gravity may not be needed during the rehydration process. We will be testing these rehydration techniques during conditions of microgravity on board of a reduced-gravity aircraft during parabolic flight maneuvers and the results will be discussed. (Supported by NASA-80NSSC18K1664).