WATCH | NASA announces winners of challenge to engineer human tissue

11 June 2021 - 10:35
By Reuters and NASA

Teams across the country have been competing for years to be the first to engineer functional human tissue in a lab.

Scientists have accomplished this medical feat by creating thick vascularized human organ tissue, which could have profound implications both on Earth and off.  

Team Winston, the first team to complete its trial under the challenge rules, will receive $300,000 and has the opportunity to advance its research aboard the International Space Station (ISS) US National Laboratory.

Team WFIRM will receive the second-place prize of $100,000. Two teams affiliated with other organizations continue to vie for third place and the remaining $100,000.

The research may help enable the growth and long-term survival of thick three-dimensional tissues for research and therapeutic applications, and eventually organ bandages and replacements.

In the near term, they could accelerate pharmaceutical testing and disease modeling. And while more advancements are needed to make it a reality, artificial organs developed from a patient’s own cells would change lives, reduce transplant waitlists, and help end the organ shortage, according to  NASA.