MicroAge II

MicroAge II builds on our previous research that suggests changes in muscle mitochondria - small structures within cells that are responsible for generating the energy - are responsible for muscle loss in both microgravity and during ageing on earth

Due to launch in 2025, the ISS experiment will study the way that muscle mitochondria change their shape, distribution and function in space and compare that with what we have seen in muscles from older people on earth.

We hypothesise that the amount of tension on muscles dictates whether mitochondria retain their shape and function and that a decline in passive tension occurs in both microgravity and ageing.

We will therefore test whether maintaining tension on muscles can prevent their degeneration in microgravity and the association of this with mitochondrial structure and function.

Feasibility studies, funded by the UK Space Agency, have identified appropriate techniques that will allow this study to be undertaken using modified microculture chambers and 3D muscle constructs on the International Space Station and in ground reference experiments.

Space launch

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