Construction of the Laboratory for Space Biotechnology was approved by 985 Project of the Ministry of Education inChina. Three years later, the renamed Key Laboratory for Space Bioscience and Biotechnology became the first ministerial level key laboratory in this research field of all the universities inChina.
To meet the developmental needs of the space sciences and technology inChina, a ground-based technological platform for simulating a space environment (gravity, radiation, and a magnetic field) was established and the bioeffects of a space environment were investigated. The following researches have been carried out:
1) Simulation technology and bioeffects of weightlessness: including molecular and cellular bioeffects of weightlessness, protein crystal growth in space, space cell and tissue engineering, development of countermeasures (drugs and facilities) for bone loss in space, and the synthesis of porous biomedical materials in a weightless environment.
2) Combined simulation technology and bioeffects of space heavy ion radiation and weightlessness: including molecular and cellular bioeffects, the bioeffects on the model organism and development of radioprotective drugs.
3) Simulation technology and bioeffects of hypo-magnetic field: including molecular and cellular bioeffects of hypo-magnetic field, the combined bioeffects of hypo-magnetic field, and weightlessness on the model organism.
At present, in the key laboratory, six specialized laboratories were built to integrate superior research teams and develop innovative research on the basis of a public supported platform—Central Laboratory.
Specialized laboratories include: the Laboratory for Molecular Cell Biology and Biomedical Engineering, the Biological Macromolecule Laboratory, the Space Pharmaceutical Biotechnology Laboratory, the Space Pharmacology Laboratory, the Biomaterial Laboratory, and the Space Immunology Joint Laboratory.
The Central Laboratory includes eight functional laboratories: the High Magnetic Field Laboratory, the Hypo-magnetic Field Laboratory, the Bioinformatics Laboratory, the BSL-2+ Laboratory, the SPF Animal Laboratory, the Cell Culture Laboratory, the Analytical Laboratory and the Clean Laboratory.
Researchers in the key laboratory have undertaken and participated in about 50 scientific projects, including ten projects with the National Natural Science Foundation of China, seven projects associated with 863 Program, five projects with the China Postdoctoral Science Foundation, four provincial and ministerial level projects, as well as several others.