Polaris Crew Collects Blood Samples Using Microsampling Devices to Help Scientists Study Effects of Prescription Drugs on Humans During Spaceflight
LOS ANGELES, Nov. 1, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — The SpaceX Polaris Program, privately funded by billionaire Jared Isaacman, is planning its first crewed launch on a SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft in March 2023. The Polaris Program will demonstrate new technologies, conduct a private spacewalk, and demonstrate operational capabilities to help further human exploration to the Moon, Mars, and beyond. One mission goal is to understand how spaceflight impacts the human body. For example, if a crew member takes prescription drugs will microgravity alter its effects? To help answer that question, the Polaris Dawn civilian crew will participate in one of the first evidence-based studies of how medications are processed in space. The crew will use Mitra® devices based on VAMS® microsampling technology donated by Neoteryx to self-collect blood samples in microgravity.
Crew members’ blood samples will be analyzed by scientists investigating the pharmacokinetics (PK) and pharmacodynamics (PD) of an oral antibiotic (acetaminophen 500 mg tablet) in humans during spaceflight. Neoteryx, the microsampling brand of Trajan Scientific and Medical, is supporting the PK and PD Study of the Polaris mission by providing its Mitra devices for the crew. The PK study is led by Senior Medical Research Engineer at SpaceX Marissa Rosenberg, PhD, with assistance from Polaris Program Consultant, John Donehoo, who previously served as a SpaceX Medical Team Collaborator.
The Neoteryx Microsampling Team provided initial training to Dr. Rosenberg and Donehoo on how to use the Mitra microsampling devices, which enabled them to train the crew on using the devices in microgravity for the mission. Crew members will take three doses of acetaminophen: preflight, during flight, postflight. After taking the acetaminophen, the crew will use Mitra devices to self-collect eight different blood samples from their forearm at different time points: at 15 minutes, 30 minutes, 45 minutes, 60 minutes, 2 hours, 3 hours, 4 hours, and 8 hours. The scientists will use the data to improve the safety and efficacy of pharmaceuticals used during human spaceflight.
“The goal of the microsampling PK-PD study with the Polaris Dawn Flight Crew as our study cohort is to make pharmaceutical use during spaceflight safer and more effective,” said Marissa Rosenberg, PhD, Senior Medical Research Engineer, SpaceX. “The blood samples collected on Mitra® devices will provide critical data on how drug concentration levels or side effects may be altered in microgravity, which can inform the need for dosing changes of certain drugs for individuals going into space.”
Neoteryx is a brand of Trajan Scientific and Medical, providing scientifically precise remote specimen collection and microsampling technologies. To support Trajan’s vision of enabling science that benefits people and improves wellbeing, Neoteryx innovates and develops quantitative microsampling technologies that are easy to use and amenable to manual and automated analysis in the lab. Neoteryx microsampling technologies ease workflows and enable decentralized research and healthcare models. Our product portfolio includes the Mitra® device based on VAMS® technology, the hemaPEN® that advances both capillary and DBS technologies, and more microsampling products on the way. For information about microsampling, visit www.neoteryx.com. For information about Trajan’s other brands and services, visit www.trajanscimed.com.
The pharmacokinetics study involves researchers from SpaceX, Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) and Duquesne University School (DU) working collaboratively. For information visit https://polarisprogram.com/ https://polarisprogram.com/science-research/
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