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Meet the team: HyperCells

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ESA / Education / Spin Your Thesis!

Team HyperCells consists out of four Polish medical, biological and engineering students from three Universities of Wroclaw. The main goal of this experiment is to evaluate the cells’ response mechanisms after exposition to hypergravity and to test the hypothesis claiming that the cells cultured in hypergravity will exhibit increased susceptibility to chemotherapeutics. 

The effect of altered gravity on cancer cells and their susceptibility to chemotherapeutics

University Wroclaw Medical University, University of Wrocław, Wroclaw University of Science and Technology
Endorsing professor PhD, Eng. Julita Kulbacka (Wroclaw Medical University)
Prof. Dariusz Rakus (University of Wroclaw)
PhD Piotr Kowalewski (Wroclaw University of Science and Technology)
Team Dawid Przystupski, Agata Górska, Piotr Wawryka and Leszek Kogut
Team HyperCells logo
Team HyperCells logo

Numerous studies have reported that gravity alteration has remarkable influence on growth and biological processes of tumorous cells. Therefore, gravity-related experiments have become a promising method to improve our knowledge in the field of cancer biology and may be useful to detect interesting implications for future cancer treatment. Most studies have tended to focus on the impact of altered gravity on the susceptibility to cytostatic drugs; however, issues linked to hypergravity have not been dealt with in depth. Based on this concept, four Polish students specialized in medicine (Dawid Przystupski and Krzysztof Kotowski), genetics (Agata Górska) and technology (Leszek Kogut) united in the HyperCells project will investigate how the variations of gravity affect malignant cancer cells. 

Taking this concept further, we are going to perform an independent experiment using a Random Positioning Machine (RPM) to analyse the effect of simulated microgravity in controlled laboratory conditions. Thus, by carrying out advanced molecular tests we will be able to find out if the exposure to altered gravity provokes higher sensitivity of malignant cells to chemotherapeutic drugs. The investigation and clarification of these phenomena may constitute an initial step towards enhancing our understanding of the relationship between cellular resistance to chemotherapy and the response to various gravitational stimuli. This approach will allow to establish whether microgravity or hypergravity environment affects cancer cells in a stronger manner. Moreover, our research will provide new insights into possible implementation of novel gravity-related therapies in medicine. After obtaining satisfactory results showing the correlation between altered gravity and multidrug resistance, we will develop further investigations into this area involving primary cell cultures collected from the patients suffering from drug-resistant cancer to verify therapeutic application of this approach.

Team HyperCells
Team HyperCells