Some of the Pharmaceuticals intended for the treatment of minor illnesses of astronauts in space may require special packaging and reformulation to remain stable for long periods in the space environment. That's according to Dr. Putcha and her colleagues from NASA, Johnson Space Centre. Their findings, published online in The AAPS Journal suggest that some of the pharmaceuticals stored on space flights may have shorter shelf-life than they do on Earth.
Pharmaceuticals used on space flights are packed and dispensed in special flight-certified containers and stored in compact flight kits. They may be exposed to the unique environ-mental factors of space missions such as radiation and excessive vibration in addition to variations in temperature and humidity.
Scientists at the Johnson Space Centre investigated whether pharmaceuticals undergo degradation in space and, if so, which environmental variables in space may affect the stability of the medications in space. They compared physical and chemical changes in 35 formulations contained in identical pharmaceutical kits stowed on the International Space Station (ISS) and on Earth.
After stowage for 28 months in space, they found that a higher percentage of the medica-tions from each flight kit had a lower active pharmaceutical content than the controls on the ground. They also saw no variation in the temperature or humidity levels between Earth and in space.
Putcha and her colleagues suggest that exposure to the chronic low dose of ionizing radi-ation as well as repackaging of solid medications may be contributing factors for phar-maceutical stability in space.
The authors conclude: "It is important to characterize space-specific degradation products and toxicity limits using ground-based analogue environments of space that include proton and heavy ion radiation, vibration and multiple gravity conditions. This information can facilitate research for the development of space-hardy pharmaceuticals and packaging technologies."
Du B, Putcha L et al (2011). Evaluation of physical and chemical changes in pharmaceuticals flown on space missions. The AAPS Journal. DOI 10.1208/s12248-011-9270-0
This press release was posted to serve as a topic for discussion. Please comment below. We try our best to only post press releases that are associated with peer reviewed scientific literature. Critical discussions of the research are appreciated. If you need help finding a link to the original article, please contact us on twitter or via e-mail.
With traditional funding stagnant and competition fierce, some scientists are using Internet sites such as Experiment to appeal to the public for money.UC San Diego graduate student Alex Piel is studying the family dynamics and habitats of chimpanzees in Tanzania's savanna. The research requires tracking animals, retrieving fecal samples and then testing to confirm genetic links.
Survey shows increased number of female students are interested in studying Stem subjects beyond A-Level
Days after a wide-ranging debate on creationism and evolution between Bill Nye and Ken Ham, the topic is driving an online conversation about points raised in the debate. Themes of belief and literalism, logic and faith — and, for some, relevance — are being debated online.
Tyrone Hayes, a biology professor at the University of California, Berkeley, has spent the past 15 years to studying the adverse effects of atrazine, a common herbicide used in the U.S. For much of that time, Hayes believed he was being watched and closely followed by Syngenta, the Swiss company that produces the chemical, in an effort to discredit his findings.
True sceptics test a hypothesis against the evidence, but climate sceptics refuse to accept anything that contradicts their beliefs
Research careers are built on publishing in high-profile journals, so can postdocs be expected to take a stand against them?
China is investing unprecedented amounts in research and development while changing the way science is practised
A bibliometric analysis in Nature purports to confirm that women scientists are discriminated against. But the full picture might be much more interesting
There are indeed concerns about the current science publishing model, but until major changes in grant funding are incorporated, researchers will continue to lust after publications in high-tier journals
A new survey of 20-year-old studies shows that poor archives and inaccessible authors make 90 percent of raw data impossible to find