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Welcome to the world of AstroCardia, a research project in which 5 Belgian companies and research centers are joining forces to improve heart health in a unique location: space! 

Our mission? Studying heart ageing and creating a suitable research model by developing an artificial miniature heart model and vascular system using 3D bioprinting into a microfluidic chip – a so-called heart-on-a-chip. 

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What and why

Developing a 'space heart' model to study cardiac health & ageing

Cardiovascular diseases are leading global causes of death, with risks rising as we age. Yet, researchers still lack a full understanding and realistic heart models to reveal the underlying biological processes.

That’s why 5 Belgian partners – SCK CEN, Space Applications Services, QbD Group, BIO INX, and Antleron – are pooling their knowledge and expertise to develop a suitable study model.

And they are doing so in an environment where scientists can better investigate heart ageing: space. Why? Because space is known to induce changes in the cardiovascular system of astronauts similar to the ageing process on Earth.

5 Belgian collaborators


Belgian Nuclear Research Centre with 70 years of experience in nuclear research and technology.
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Space Applications Services

Provides services to the aerospace, security markets & related industries.
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QbD Group

Supports life science companies worldwide throughout the entire product lifecycle - from idea to patient.
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Works on the development and commercialization of materials for 3D bioprinting.
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Innovative Leuven R&D start-up that develops tailor-made bioprocess solutions for various life science applications.
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