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Investigation of Murine T-Cells and Cancer Cells under Thermal Stressors and 2D Slow Rotating System Effects as a Testbed for Suborbital Flights

Abstract

Research indicates that exposure to microgravity leads to immune system dysregulation. However, there is a lack of clear evidence on the specific reasons and precise mechanisms accounting for these immune system changes. Past studies investigating space travel-induced alterations in immunological parameters report many conflicting results, explained by the role of certain confounders, such as cosmic radiation, individual body environment, or differences in experimental design. To minimize the variability in results and to eliminate some technical challenges, we advocate conducting thorough feasibility studies prior to actual suborbital or orbital space experiments. We show how exposure to suborbital flight stressors and the use of a two-dimensional slow rotating device affect T-cells and cancer cells survivability. To enhance T-cell activation and viability, we primed them alone or in combination with IL-2 and IL-12 cytokines. Viability of T-cells was assessed before, during the experiment, and at the end of the experiment for which T-cells were counted every day for the last 4 days to allow the cells to form clear structures and do not disturb their evolution into various geometries. The slow rotating device could be considered a good system to perform T-cell activation studies and develop cell aggregates for various types of cells that react differently to thermal stressors.

Open access
Effect of macromolecular mass transport in microgravity protein crystallization

Abstract

To investigate the effect of macromolecular transport and the incorporation of protein aggregate impurities in growing crystals, experiments were performed on the International Space Station (ISS) and compared with control experiments performed in a 1G laboratory environment. Crystal growth experiments for hen egg-white lysozyme (HEWL) and Plasmodium falciparum glutathione S-transferase (PfGST) were monitored using the ISS Light Microscopy Module (LMM). Experiments were performed applying the liquid–liquid counter diffusion crystallization method using rectangular, optically transparent capillaries. To analyze the quantity of impurity incorporated into growing crystals, stable fluorescently labeled protein aggregates were prepared and subsequently added at different percent concentrations to nonlabeled monomeric protein suspensions. For HEWL, a covalent cross-linked HEWL dimer was fluorescently labeled, and for PfGST, a stable tetramer was prepared. Crystallization solutions containing different protein aggregate ratios were prepared. The frozen samples were launched on 19.02.2017 via SpaceX-10 mission and immediately transferred to a -80°C freezer on the ISS. Two series of crystallization experiments were performed on ISS, one during 26.02.2017 to 10.03.2017 and a second during 16.06.2017 to 23.06.2017. A comparison of crystal growth rate and size showed different calculated average growth rates as well as different dimensions for crystals growing in different positions along the capillary. The effect of macromolecular mass transport on crystal growth in microgravity was experimentally calculated. In parallel, the percentage of incorporated fluorescent aggregate into the crystals was monitored utilizing the fluorescent LMM and ground-based fluorescent microscopes.

Open access
The Analysis of Hospital Helicopter Landing Sites Location in Terms of their Vibroacoustic Impact

Abstract

According to the applicable regulations, in the case of a decision on the location of an investment consisting in the construction and commissioning of a helicopter landing field, it is necessary to carry out an environmental impact assessment. At the same time, due to the emission of noise related to the expected change of acoustic climate parameters, the indicators required under the applicable law related to building acoustics and also impact of vibration on the structure of buildings should be taken into account. The article discusses particular groups of issues related to the assessment of the impact of helicopter landing field on the environment and the hospital building. On the basis of the presented results of analyzes, a postulate concerning the necessity of introducing a comprehensive assessment methodology, including specific groups of issues, was formulated.

Open access
A Concept of Suborbital Scientific Mission and Technology Validation

Abstract

Suborbital platforms are one of alternatives for satellites. They offer cheaper access to space to perform broad range of scientific and technology R&D. One of suborbital platforms are sounding rockets, which are suitable for these applications. A concept of scientific mission utilizing the sounding rocket is presented by author in this paper. The novelty of this mission is the operational responsive launch approach, which presents the example of the mission which responds for payload user needs, not payload contest approach, which is often in scientific community competing for payload space in space agency sounding rocket launch campaigns. The main mission goal is to perform astronomical observation of NEO using IR/VIS telescope. The secondary goal is to qualify the instrument for use on astronomical satellite observatory and raise its technology readiness level from TRL 6 to TRL 8. The expected mission output is to gain scientific data on NEO object and perform new IR/VIS optoelectronic instrument technology validation.

Open access
Determination of In-Plane Shear Properties of Laminate with V-Notch Rail Shear Test and Digital Image Correlation

Abstract

This article presents the results of the application of Digital Image Correlation (DIC) to measurements of in-plane shear modulus and strength of three different carbon fiber reinforced laminates. Three different approaches to shear strain calculations via DIC are evaluated and compared with standard strain gage measurements. Calculation of shear strain based on averaging DIC strain values of strain gages area in most cases yielded results closest to strain gages, while measurements based on single point strain measuring differed the most from strain gages. These results are attributed to shear strain distribution in the center area of the specimen. Thermoplastic matrix fabric reinforced composite had the lowest shear strength at 5% of shear strain, but the highest ultimate shear strength and strain at failure. Of thermosetting materials, laminate reinforced with unidirectional carbon fiber had shear modulus about 10% lower, than fabric reinforced laminate, but higher ultimate strength and strain at failure. This behavior is attributed to the presence of weaves in fabric reinforcing the laminate, causing shear stiffening of the material, but lowering its ability to deform under shear loading.

Open access
Influence of Honeycomb Core Stabilization on Composite Sandwich Structure Geometry

Abstract

Authors showed the influence of stabilization of the honeycomb core on shape of the composite sandwich test panel. Adhesive film laid on core ramps and cured with suitable cure cycle served as core stabilizer. Test panel geometry included different ramp angles (20° and 30°). To verify stabilization process a technology trial was performed. Three test panels were manufactured (3-stage, 1-stage and 1-stage with stabilized core). All test panels were manufactured in OoA process (Out of Autoclave). Panel surfaces were scanned with 3D scanner and compared with the reference CAD model. Both outer skin and inner skin were manufactured in Automated Fiber Placement Laboratory of Warsaw Institute of Aviation.

Open access
Initial Analysis of Helicopter Impact on Hospital Helipads

Abstract

The need to quickly provide assistance to victims of accidents or seriously ill has created the need for the construction of helipads at selected hospitals. Their operation and the conditions of use are governed by regulation of the Ministry of Health on Hospital Emergency Ward (SOR) and rules required by the Civil Aviation Authority.

The direct vicinity of the helipads causes impact of landing and departing helicopters on buildings, people and hospital equipment as well as the construction of the airfield. This article presents vibroacoustic impact of helicopters on helipads’ measurement methods and the results of the preliminary measurements to estimate the impact of Helicopter Air Rescue (LPR) on adjacent buildings and surroundings.

Open access
Mathematical Models and Computer Simulations of Aerial Spraying and Droplets Distribution in a Target Site

Abstract

Mathematical models describing aerial spraying and the distribution of liquid droplets on a target were presented. Relationships based on “free models” with Gaussian distribution of droplet concentrations and “bound models” that account for the impact of disturbances in the velocity field behind agricultural aircraft were expanded, and the hybrid model too. The results of experimental studies were presented and compared with theoretical calculations. The “bound model” was found to be the most effective solution for describing the physical phenomena that accompany the aerial spraying process.

Open access
Impact of g-Load Shift on Temporal Expression Pattern of Apoptosis-linked Proteins in the Rat Mammary Gland

Abstract

Alteration in gravitational load impacts homeorhetic response in rat dams which affects neonatal pup survival. However, the effects of hypergravity (HG) exposure on the abundance of apoptosis-associated proteins in mammary epithelial cells (MECs) have not been characterized. Therefore, we examined whether chronic exposure to HG from midpregnancy alters the abundance of proapoptotic proteins in MECs during the late pregnancy and early lactation. A group of pregnant Sprague Dawley rats were exposed to either HG (2g) or normo-gravity (1g: stationary control [SC]) from days 11 to 20 of gestation (G20). Another set of animals were investigated from day 11 of pregnancy through days 1 and 3 (P1 and P3, respectively) postpartum. Quantitative (pixels [px]/lobule) immunohistochemistry at G20 of Cleaved Caspase-3 (CC-3), Tumor Protein p53 (P53), and vitamin D receptor (VDR) revealed that all the three proteins were increased (p<0.01) in HG rats compared to SC animals. At P1, the HG group had twofold higher (p<0.001) expression of CC-3 relative to the SC group. Approximately, 50% (p<0.001) more VDR was detected in the HG cohorts than SC at P3. These results suggest that a shift in g-load upregulates the expression of key proapoptotic proteins during the pregnancy-to-lactation transition in the rat MECs.

Open access
Musculoskeletal Outcomes from Chronic High-Speed High-Impact Resistive Exercise

Abstract

Subjects (n=13) did 30 workouts with their left leg on an Inertial Exercise Trainer (IET), while their right leg served as an untreated control. Before and after the 30 workouts, they underwent isokinetic strength tests (knee and ankle extensors of both legs) whose peak torque (PT), time to PT (TTPT), and rate of torque development (RTD) values were each analyzed with 2(leg)×2(time)×3(velocity) analysis of variances (ANOVAs), with repeated measures per independent variable. Peak force (PF) and total work (TW) data were measured from each IET workout, and they represent time course strength changes produced by our exercise intervention. PF and TW values for the three IET exercises that comprised each workout were each analyzed with one-way ANOVAs with time as the independent variable. Results included significant ankle and knee extensor PT increases, whereby the left leg achieved higher values at posttesting, but there were no significant TTPT changes and a time effect for ankle extensor RTD. Our data show that PF and TW each had significant increases over time, with the latter exhibiting greater gains over the 30-workout intervention. Our results imply that the IET yields strength gains over time comparable to standard resistive exercise hardware.

Open access