Unravelling the Effect of the Interplay of Spaceflight Stressors on the in Vitro Wound Healing Process

    Research output


    In this work, an in vitro model of the simulated spaceflight environment was developed and applied to investigate the contribution of dermal fibroblasts in the wound healing process after exposure to simulated microgravity, ionizing radiation, and psychological stress. Besides, fibroblasts have been exposed to hypergravity and gravitational alterations between simulated microgravity and hypergravity, with or without stress hormones. After exposure to a combination of the aforementioned simulated spaceflight stressors, fibroblasts’ expression of cytokines and growth factors as well as dermal matrix proteins were measured. Additionally, measures of migration capacity and cytoskeletal remodeling were obtained as well. Finally, the effect of different radiation qualities on DNA damage and repair with or without the addition of stress hormones was investigated. The results show that the wound healing capacity of dermal fibroblasts is sensitive for exposure to simulated spaceflight stressors. Moreover, it was shown that the different spaceflight stressors can interfere with the wound healing process at any stage. Additionally, several interaction effects between the different spaceflight stressors have been identified. Taken together, the insights of this work highlight the need of investigating the combined effect of simulated spaceflight stressors on the wound healing capacity of the skin.
    Original languageEnglish
    QualificationDoctor of Science
    Awarding Institution
    • Universiteit Gent
    • Baselet, Bjorn, SCK CEN Mentor
    • Baatout, Sarah, Supervisor
    • Van Damme, Els, Supervisor, External person
    Date of Award9 Dec 2022
    StatePublished - 9 Dec 2022

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