Centennial, Colorado. September 17, 2014 – Centennial-based AlloSource has signed a Space Act Agreement with National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) to collaborate on microbial research.
AlloSource is one of the nation’s largest providers of skin, bone and soft tissue allografts for use in surgical procedures, and the world’s largest processor of cellular bone allografts. The company will now leverage technologies developed by NASA/JPL for assembly and launch operation of various Mars missions to advance microbial research in tissue processing.
The partnership was made possible by Manufacturer’s Edge (formerly the Colorado Association for Manufacturing and Technology, or CAMT). CAMT established a public-private partnership with NASA in December 2010 designed to to help Colorado companies use NASA resources to spur innovation for new products and processes. The Space Act Agreement streamlines access to existing NASA resources and technologies and facilitates research and development and supplier partnerships.
“Working with NASA and JPL is an amazing achievement for AlloSource and we are grateful for Manufacturer’s Edge’s assistance in facilitating this relationship,” said Thomas Cycyota, President and CEO of AlloSource. “We are committed to researching and developing new processes that allow us to continue to maximize the gift of human tissue donation.”
AlloSource’s participation in the Manufacturer’s Edge program led to this unique collaboration. JPL, a division of the California Institute of Technology, is the NASA center that manages the Curiosity Rover mission, which focuses on assessing a local region on Mars’ surface as a potential habitat for past life.
The molecular microbial detection technology used in the rigorous pre- and post-mission testing of the Mars mission spacecraft components provides an opportunity for AlloSource to evolve microbial testing on donated tissue. In order for tissue to be safe and suitable for transplant, an array of intense, specialized scientific testing is required.
Tissue is subjected to microbiological testing at recovery and must be free of specific microorganisms and contaminants that would preclude tissue from processing or transplantation. Additional post-processing testing is also required before the tissue is transplantable. NASA, JPL and AlloSource will share ideas and processes related to microbiological testing methods and will look for new ways to rapidly detect the presence of microorganisms.
“This creative collaboration shows the value of connecting NASA’s cutting-edge space program technology with AlloSource’s tissue testing methods to potentially impact countless lives. We are delighted to help AlloSource connect with NASA and JPL and improve lives in this way,” said Tom Bugnitz, CEO of Manufacturer’s Edge.