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The space experiment CERASP: Definition of a space-suited radiation source and growth conditions for human cells

Hellweg, Christine E. and Baumstark-Khan, Christa and Spitta, Luis and Thelen, Melanie and Arenz, Andrea and Franz, Markus and Schulze-Varnholt, Dirk and Berger, Thomas and Reitz, Günther (2008) The space experiment CERASP: Definition of a space-suited radiation source and growth conditions for human cells. ACTA ASTRONAUTICA, 63 (7-10), pp. 906-914. Elsevier. doi: 10.1016/j.actaastro.2008.03.006.

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The combined action of ionizing radiation and microgravity will continue to influence future space missions, with special risks for astronauts on the Moon surface or for long duration missions to Mars. It has been estimated that on a 3-year mission to Mars about 3% of the bodies’ cell nuclei would have been hit by one iron ion with the consequence that nuclear DNA will be heavily damaged. There is increasing evidence that basic cellular functions are sensitive not only to radiation but also to microgravity. DNA repair studies in space on bacteria, yeast cells and human fibroblasts, which were irradiated before, flight, gave contradictory results: from inhibition of repair by microgravity to enhancement, whereas others did not detect any influence of microgravity on repair. The space experiment CERASP (CEllular Responses to RAdiation in SPace) to be performed at the International Space Station (ISS) is aimed to supply basic information on the cellular response in microgravity to radiation applied during flight. It makes use of a recombinant human cell line as reporter for cellular signal transduction modulation by genotoxic environmental conditions. The main biological endpoints under investigation will be gene activation based on enhanced green fluorescent protein (EGFP, originally isolated from the bioluminescent jellyfish Aequorea victoria) expression controlled by a DNA damage-dependent promoter element which reflects the activity of the nuclear factor kappa B (NF-κB) pathway. The NF-κB family of proteins plays a major role in the inflammatory and immune response, cell proliferation and differentiation, anti-apoptosis and tumorgenesis. For radiation exposure during space flight a radiation source has been constructed as damage accumulation by cosmic radiation will certainly be insufficient for analysis. The space experiment specific hardware consists of a specially designed radiation source made up of the β-emitter promethium-147, combined with a miniaturized culture vessel and a seeding apparatus. With this prototype hardware, the requirements of CERASP can be fulfilled with cells growing on the polytetrafluoroethylene foil. The radiation source can be enveloped with additional titanium foils for safety issues. The results from the preparatory experimental phase clearly show that the Pm-147 radiation source meets the requirements for the space experiment CERASP.

Item URL in elib:https://elib.dlr.de/55057/
Document Type:Article
Title:The space experiment CERASP: Definition of a space-suited radiation source and growth conditions for human cells
AuthorsInstitution or Email of AuthorsAuthor's ORCID iDORCID Put Code
Franz, MarkusEADS Space Transportation GmbH, Friedrichshafen, GermanyUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Schulze-Varnholt, DirkEADS Space Transportation GmbH, Friedrichshafen, GermanyUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Journal or Publication Title:ACTA ASTRONAUTICA
Refereed publication:Yes
Open Access:No
Gold Open Access:No
In ISI Web of Science:Yes
Page Range:pp. 906-914
Keywords:Space radiation, Human cells, Green fluorescent protein, Gene expression, Bioassay, Beta-rays, Promethium, Nuclear factor κB
HGF - Research field:Aeronautics, Space and Transport (old)
HGF - Program:Space (old)
HGF - Program Themes:W FR - Forschung unter Weltraumbedingungen (old)
DLR - Research area:Space
DLR - Program:W FR - Forschung unter Weltraumbedingungen
DLR - Research theme (Project):W - Vorhaben Strahlenbiologie (old)
Location: Köln-Porz
Institutes and Institutions:Institute of Aerospace Medicine > Radiation Biology
Deposited By: Kopp, Kerstin
Deposited On:27 Aug 2008
Last Modified:27 Apr 2009 15:11

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