CASIS and the NSF Announce Funding Opportunity in Tissue Engineering on the ISS

Press Release From: Center for the Advancement of Science in Space (CASIS)
Posted: Friday, November 17, 2017

The Center for the Advancement of Science in Space (CASIS) and the National Science Foundation (NSF) today announced a joint solicitation wherein researchers will have the ability to leverage resources onboard the International Space Station (ISS) U.S. National Laboratory to support enhancements in the fields of transformative tissue engineering. Up to $1.8 million will be awarded for multiple research investigations to support flight projects to the ISS National Lab.
Through this partnership, CASIS and NASA will facilitate hardware implementation and in-orbit access to the ISS National Lab. NSF will fund the selected projects to advance fundamental science and biomedical engineering knowledge. CASIS is the nonprofit organization responsible for managing and promoting research onboard the ISS National Lab. NSF supports transformative research to help drive the U.S. economy, enhance national security, and maintain America’s position as a global leader in innovation.
The primary program interest is in the area of tissue engineering. However, any research that fits within the scope of the NSF Engineering of Biomedical Systems Program and requires access to experimental facilities on the ISS may be considered. This includes cellular engineering, tissue engineering, and modeling of physiological or pathophysiological systems in topic areas that include but are not limited to scaffolds and matrices, cell-cell and cell-matrix interactions, stem cell engineering and reprogramming, cellular immunotherapies, cellular biomanufacturing, and system integration between biological components and electromechanical assemblies.
This marks the third in a series of collaborations between NSF and CASIS to explore research concepts on the ISS National Lab. The first two focused on physical sciences objectives (fluid dynamics and thermal combustion).
The ISS National Lab has supported multiple research investigations within the fields of stem cells, regeneration, and tissue engineering. Soon, several experiments focused on tissue chips and similar biomedical engineering payloads will launch to the ISS National Lab to take advantage of the unique space environment. To learn about those experiments and more, please visit:
Prior to submitting a full proposal to NSF, all interested parties must submit a Preliminary Feasibility Review form to CASIS, which will determine the operational feasibility for flight of the proposed project. CASIS will notify the proposer of a passing or failing review score within 14 days of Preliminary Feasibility Review form submission. CASIS strongly encourages interested parties to submit their review forms no later than January 5, 2018. Only projects that pass the CASIS Preliminary Feasibility Review will be invited to submit a full proposal to NSF. The notification of a passing score must be included in the full proposal submission. NSF will close this grant solicitation on February 12, 2018.
To learn more about this funding opportunity, view the full proposal solicitation via the NSF Chemical, Bioengineering, Environment and Transport Systems Division of the Engineering Directorate at

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