ImmunoSpace: A Biomedical Journey from Earth to Mars

Greetings, fellow jury, audience and participants. Our team, IMMUNOSPACE, is made up by: Shelsya
López Duarte, Roberto Vázquez Menchaca, and Adriana Lizeth Rubio Aguirre; and our advisor,
Dr. Enrique Guerrero Beltrán. We chose to work on the third topic, biological
and medical challenges to inhabit Mars, where our skills and knowledge could merge into an integrated solution to critical health obstacles related to the correct functioning
of the immune system in our journey to Mars. With this project, an additional solution
is proposed, complementing the current efforts of organizations such as Agencia Espacial
Mexicana (AEM) and NASA. And using the immune system as a means of flexibly encompassing many of the following drawbacks, present in both space and life on Earth. Various factors, such as the absence of Earth’s
magnetosphere, prolonged exposure to space radiation, and microgravity,
have led to major health problems. Thus, the approach to this problem
revolves around the immune system, The aim of this proposal is the creation
of nanovaccines and nanodevices for antigen specific cellular and humoral immunity. Nowadays, we know that a particulate antigen vaccine might provide advantages over the soluble antigen vaccine by serving as antigen depot
and protecting the antigen from enzyme degradation, enabling targeted delivery to
specific immune organs and cell types, and stimulating antigen presentation via the desired
pathways at a controlled release rate. Atherosclerosis, heart failure (HF) and
cancer are pathologies largely driven by inflammation. Only until recently has it become evident
that modulation of the immune system will become a powerful strategy to inhibit or stimulate
inflammatory mediators and to induce specific immune response
on inflammatory biomarkers. Immunomodulation therapy has been recently applied in these inflammatory-related pathologies,
with highly successful results. The use of emerging tools, such as recombinant peptides, and novel nanoparticles, such as highly standardized nanovaccines
can then be applied in space, Mars or Earth. The strategy focuses on using a subcutaneous
or transdermal patch that measures concentrations in blood with microneedles, allowing the recognition
of endogenous dysregulated molecules, neoantigens or pro-inflammatory molecules. Once their levels are obtained, the release
of the nanovaccine will be determined in an automated way. These measurements will in turn allow a nanochannel delivery system integrated to
the patch to activate, which causes a prolonged and controlled release of the molecules. These strategies will bring together basic
sciences, and translational groups with the expertise and capability of generating research
and pharmaceutical grade nano/microparticles and devices for preclinical and Phase I
clinical studies, suitable for humans in space. These solutions are based
on and go hand in hand with current applications on Earth, which is why many of the techniques
and ideas that were just explained can also contribute to solving
these complications on Earth.

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