Monitoring and Assessment of Human Health and Responses to Countermeasures During Space Deconditioning

Grants and Contracts Details


Among NASA's priorities is the development of technologies that can provide efficient monitoring and maintenance of astronaut health for extended exploration of space. One significant effect of space flight on astronaut health is cardiovascular deconditioning, which can lead to loss of consciousness upon re-entry into gravitational environments. Two important components of astronaut health maintenance are the need to provide 1) effective countermeasures to spaceflight .deconditioning (e.g., cardiovascular de~onditioning) and 2) analytical methodologies (e.g., for cardiorespiratory parameters and body-fluid chemistries) that can monitor important health parameters reliably and in a way that does not interfere with the astronaut's daily activities. We propose to provide effective monitoring of the cardiovascular system by integrating knowledge gained from our previous and planned NASA related studies with data obtained from novel chemical sensors being developed .in our laboratories. We will meet these objectives through the efforts of a team from the State of Kentucky, headed by investigators from the University of Kentucky, who have had strong collaboration with personnel at NASA Ames Research Center and Johnson Space Center (JSC). Members of our group will continue their role as university members of a NASA team who recently detennined physiological responses to human powered centrifuge (HPC) training. The NASA team, headed by Dr. John GreeriIeaf at Ames, includes Drs. Suzanne Schneider and Scott Smith, JSC, Dr. Joan Vernikos (retiring), NASA HQ, and investigators from other universities in the US and abroad. This team has been approved by NASA HQ to evaluate the HPC as a countermeasure against a variety of syndromes of space flight deconditioning (simulated at the NASA Ames Bed Rest Facility). The Kentucky group will be responsible for acquisition and engineering systems analysis of the cardiovascular data (pending funding from this EPSCoR proposal). The goal of the data analysis is to develop a classification scheme to track cardiQvascular deconditioning and prescribe appropriate countermeasures. In addition, we will continue our efforts, in collaboration with John Hines, NASA Ames, to develop chemical sensors for monitoring and maintaining health during long term space flight deconditioning. Sensors will be prepared using biomimetic principles and molecular biology techniques. These chemical sensors are low in weight, easily miniaturized and designed for in vitro assay and for non-invasive and minimally invasive monitoring. The goal is to integrate data from these sensors ,vith data from engineering analysis of physiological systems responses (see- above) to provide the most sensitive and effective cardiovascular monitoring system possible for long term space flight. These sensors also have spin-off applications in the clinic and in a variety of non-medical environments that may be of interest to NASA and to the private sector for possible economic development. . As a result of the proposed research activities described above, we will be able to expand the educational, research, and economic infrastructure of the State by 1) continuing our summer NASA intern program for high school, undergraduate and graduate students in the State of Kentucky, 2) allowing our web site, developed for analysis of cardiovascular data and currently being used to transfer data between investigators, to be accessed by students and their teachers/professors in Kentucky and outside the state for mentoring of research projects on "real world" data, and 3) exploring uses of the sensors as products for economic development.
Effective start/end date8/1/021/31/04


  • Western Kentucky University: $10,000.00


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