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

Grants and Contracts Details


Among NASA's priorities is the development of technologies that will enable extended duration human exploration of space. An important requirement for the success of such missions is the availability of technologies that can provide efficient monitoring and maintenance of astronaut heal~. Two important components of astronaut health maintenance are the need to provide countenneas~res to spaceflight deconditioning (e.g. cardiovascular deconditioning) and analytical methodologIes (e.g. for 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 these two components of astronaut health maintenance for effective monitoring of the cardiovascular system by integrating knowledge gained from our previous and proposed NASA related studies with data obtained from novel biosensors being developed in our laboratory. 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 the NASA Ames Research Center and the Johnson Space Center. One part of our group will continue their role as members of a NASA team who recently detennined physiological responses to human powered centrifuge (HPC) training. The NASA team, is headed by Dr. John Greenleaf at Ames, and includes Drs. Suzanne Schneider and Scott Smith, Johnson Space Center, 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 spaceflight deconditioning (simulated by a 28 day exposure in the NASA Ames Bed Rest Facility). The Kentucky group will be responsible for the acquisition and engineering systems analysis of the cardiovascular data. The goal of the data analysis is to develop a classification scheme that tracks cardiovascular deconditioning and that can be used to prescribe appropriate countenneasures. Another part of our group will continue their efforts, in collaboration with Dr. John Hines, NASA Ames, to develop biosensors and sensing systems for chemical species in body fluids that are necessary for meeting anticipated needs in monitoring and maintaining health during long tenn space flight deconditioning. These sensors will be prepared using biomimetic principles and molecular biology techniques. These chemical sensors can be low in weight, easily miniaturized and designed for in vitro assay, subcutaneous applications or for use in measurements in the sweat of astronauts. The goal is to integrate data from these sensors with data from engineering analysis of physiological systems responses (see above) to provide !he most sensitive and physiological monitoring system possible for long term spacefhght. These sensors also have spmoff applications in a variety of environments other than medical 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 gr~duate students in the State of K~ntucky, 2) allowing our web site, developed for analysis of cardiovascular data and. currently bemg used ~o transfer data between investigators, to be accessed by students and theIr teachers/professors m Kentucky and outside the state for mentoring of research projects on "real world" data, and 3) (~xploringuses of the sensors as products for economic development.
Effective start/end date6/15/057/31/06


  • Western Kentucky University


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