Polaris Dawn Crew Collects Blood Samples Using Microsampling Devices to Help Scientists Study Effects of Prescription Drugs on Humans During Spaceflight
November 2022 — Neoteryx, the microsampling brand of Trajan Scientific and Medical, donated Mitra® microsampling devices to the Polaris Program for a microsampling study that is being conducted as part of the Polaris Dawn mission to better understand how pharmaceuticals may be processed differently in space. Medications may require different doses, may be ineffective, or may cause different side effects in space than they do on Earth. Blood samples collected by the crew on Mitra® devices will provide critical data on how drug concentration levels or side effects may be altered in microgravity, which can inform the need for dosing changes of certain drugs for individuals going into space. This microsampling pharmacokinetic (PK) study aims to make pharmaceutical use during human spaceflight safer and more effective.
For the microsampling study, the crewmembers’ blood samples will be analyzed by a team led by Jonathan Donehoo, D. Pharm, to investigate how acetaminophen is processed by the human body while in space. Trajan Scientific and Medical is thrilled to support this study by providing its Mitra devices for the Polaris Dawn crew to use during their mission. Crewmembers will take three doses of 500 mg acetaminophen: one preflight, one during flight, and one postflight. After taking the acetaminophen, the crew will use Mitra devices to self-collect eight different blood samples from their forearm or finger at different time points after ingesting the medication. The scientists will use the data to improve the safety and efficacy of pharmaceuticals used during human spaceflight.
Neoteryx is a brand of Trajan Scientific and Medical, providing scientifically precise remote specimen collection and microsampling technologies. To support its vision of enabling science that benefits people and improves wellbeing, the microsampling team at Trajan innovates and develops quantitative microsampling technologies that are easy to use and amenable to manual and automated analysis in the lab. Neoteryx microsampling technologies ease workflows and enable decentralized research and healthcare models. Our product portfolio includes the Mitra® device based on VAMS® technology, the hemaPEN® that advances both capillary and DBS technologies, and more microsampling products on the way. For information about microsampling, visit www.neoteryx.com.For information about Trajan’s other brands and services, visit www.trajanscimed.com.
About Polaris Dawn
Polaris Dawn is the first of the Polaris Program’s three human spaceflight missions. SpaceX is targeting no earlier than March 2023 for Falcon 9’s launch of the Dragon spacecraft and the Polaris Dawn crew from Launch Complex 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Polaris Dawn endeavors to reach the highest Earth orbit ever flown, attempt the first-ever commercial spacewalk, conduct extensive research to further our understanding of human health on Earth and during future long-duration spaceflights, and test Starlink’s laser-based communications in space. For more information, visit polarisprogram.com/dawn/