04/14/16 The Houston Methodist Research Institute’s (HMRI) newly created Center of Space Nanomedicine is working with the Center for the Advancement of Science in Space (CASIS) to send eight experiments to the International Space Station (ISS) over the next five years. HMRI is focusing on the development and testing of technologies in four areas – diagnostic and therapeutic biomedical devices for precision medicine, nanotherapeutics for targeted drug delivery, regenerative medicine and tissue engineering.
The first experiment launched last week, it is a microgravity experiment studying the diffusion of drug-like particles. The project is focused on mimicking on a larger scale the diffusion of drug molecules in nanochannels by adopting microparticles in microchannels (2-8 micrometers), where their movement will not be influenced by gravity, and their larger size will enable visualization through microscopes. Researchers currently don’t know the exact physics of how drug particles behave as they diffuse through tight nanospaces, so the goal is to improve implantable devices that release pharmaceutical drugs at a steady rate.
Future experiments will also involve nano-experiments, all in the hopes of advancing technology in the medical and pharmaceutical fields.