Vascular Tissue Challenge

This challenge will rally scientists worldwide to produce viable thick-tissue assays that can be used to advance research on human physiology.

The Vascular Tissue Challenge is a $500,000 prize to create thick, human vascularized organ tissue in an in-vitro environment while maintaining metabolic functionality similar to their in vivo native cells throughout a 30-day survival period. NASA's Centennial Challenges Program is sponsoring this prize to help advance research on human physiology, fundamental space biology, and medicine taking place both on the Earth and the ISS National Laboratory. Specifically, innovations may enable the growth of de novo tissues and organs on orbit which may address the risks related to traumatic bodily injury, improve general crew health, and enhance crew performance on future, long-duration missions.

The Prize

The Vascular Tissue Challenge is a $500,000 prize purse to be divided among the first three teams to meet the required guidelines by Sept 30, 2019.


Requirements

Create thick, human vascularized organ tissue in an in-vitro environment while maintaining metabolic functionality similar to their in vivo native cells throughout a 30-day survival period.

The Teams

See the people that are working to make bio-engineered vascular tissue a very real possibility for the future.



The challenge is open!

Register your team to be considered.

INtroduction Webinar



About Nasa's
Centennial Challenges

NASA Centennial Challenges were initiated in 2005 to directly engage the public in the process of advanced technology development. The program offers incentive prizes to generate revolutionary solutions to problems of interest to NASA and the nation. The program seeks innovations from diverseand non-traditional sources. Competitors are not supported by government funding and awards are only made to successful teams when the challenges are met.


In keeping with the spirit of the Wright Brothers and other American innovators, the Centennial Challenge prizes are offered to independent inventors including small businesses, student groups and individuals. These independent inventors are sought to generate innovative solutions for technical problems of interest to NASA and the nation and to provide them with the opportunity to stimulate or create new business ventures.


The President's budget request includes $4 million per year for Centennial Challenges prizes to allow further growth in the scope and range of prize competitions and even greater opportunities for the citizen-inventor to participate in NASA's research and development.

Prize FAQs

Why offer a prize instead of providing grants to the researchers?

What is the purpose of this challenge?

Why is the solution to this challenge needed?

Why is this topic important to the nation?

Why is NASA interested in tissue engineering?

How was The Methuselah Foundation selected as NASA's allied organization?

Is NIH involved?

How were the allowable tissues selected?

How were the evaluation criteria selected?

How were the judges selected?

Why is there a requirement to develop a spaceflight experiment concept?

How can I get in touch with someone for more information?

My team focuses on one part of tissue vascularization, but would need to partner with others to win the award. How can we compete?

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