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Meet the teams: HypE

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ESA / Education / Spin Your Thesis!

The HypE team is composed of one Master student from the University of Pisa, Matteo Vezza, and a PhD student from Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna, Chiara De Cesari. The project is focused on investigating the effect of hypergravity on human microvascular endothelial cells for  a better comprehension of the effect of gravitational loading/unloading on this critical cell type.



 Effect of gravitational forces on the endothelium: a molecular and cell biology approach in hyper-g.

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University Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna
Endorsing professor Debora Angeloni
Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna
Team Chiara De Cesari, Matteo Vezza 
HypE team
HypE team

Capillary Endothelial Cells line all our small-diameter blood vessels and are responsible for important responses to stimuli from within and outside the body. Gravitational variation is known to cause health problems to astronauts. Interestingly, several of those problems resemble those caused by sedentary life, aging or degenerative pathologies on the general population. Biomedical investigations that aim to find common traits could be useful to prevent/treat disease both in the astronauts and the general public. The team will investigate variations of genome expression, transient genome modifications and cell morphology on HMEC-1 cells, a model of capillary human endothelium. For all endpoints, variations are expected compared to 1g reference samples, based on current literature. 

Human Microvascular Endothelial Cells (HMEC-1)
Human Microvascular Endothelial Cells (HMEC-1)

Cells will be cultured on plastic coverslips coated with gelatin both inside a bioreactor already used for space flight (ENDO), and in silicone-filled tubes. Samples will be exposed to two different protocols. The tubes will be incubated for 15 minutes inside the Large Diameter Centrifuge (LDC) gondola under 4g, 8g or 12g hypergravity conditions. The ENDO bioreactors will be subjected to a typical Soyuz launch profile.

The project aims help understand of the effects of gravitational loading/unloading on endothelial cells, to improve both astronaut and general population health through possible gravitational manipulation.

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