Health, Medicine, & Biotechnology

Developing Physiologic Models for Emergency Medical Procedures Under Microgravity

Several technological enhancements have been made to METI’s commercial Emergency Care Simulator (ECS) with regard to how microgravity affects human physiology. The ECS uses both a software only lung simulation, and an integrated mannequin lung that uses a physical lung bag for creating chest excursions, and a digital simulation of lung mechanics and gas exchange. METI’s patient simulators incorporate models of human physiology that simulate lung and chest wall mechanics, as well as pulmonary gas exchange.

Posted in: Bio-Medical, Briefs, TSP, Diagnostics, Patient Monitoring


Improving Balance Function Using Low Levels of Electrical Stimulation of the Balance Organs

A device based on this technology may be used as a miniature patch worn by people with disabilities to improve posture and locomotion, and to enhance adaptability or skill acquisition. Crewmembers returning from long duration space flight face significant challenges due to the microgravity induced inappropriate adaptations in balance/sensorimotor function. The Neuroscience Laboratory at JSC is developing a method based on stochastic resonance to enhance the brain’s ability to detect signals from the balance organs of the inner ear and use them for rapid improvement in balance skill, especially when combined with balance training exercises. This method involves a stimulus delivery system that is wearable/ portable providing imperceptible electrical stimulation to the balance organs of the human body.

Posted in: Bio-Medical, Briefs, Rehabilitation & Physical Therapy, Sensors


Hands-Free Transcranial Color Doppler Probe

These probes enable full use of TCD technology for neurological diagnostics. Current transcranial color Doppler (TCD) transducer probes are bulky and difficult to move in tiny increments to search and optimize TCD signals. This invention provides miniature motions of a TCD transducer probe to optimize TCD signals.

Posted in: Bio-Medical, Briefs, Visualization Software, Diagnostics, Patient Monitoring, Surgical Robotics/Instruments


Portable Intravenous Fluid Production Device for Ground Use

This small, portable device with high output produces medical injection-grade sterile water from potable water sources. There are several medical conditions that require intravenous (IV) fluids. Limitations of mass, volume, storage space, shelf-life, transportation, and local resources can restrict the availability of such important fluids. These limitations are expected in long-duration space exploration missions and in remote or austere environments on Earth. Current IV fluid production requires large factory-based processes. Easy, portable, on-site production of IV fluids can eliminate these limitations. Based on experience gained in developing a device for spaceflight, a grounduse device was developed.

Posted in: Bio-Medical, Briefs


Adaptation of a Filter Assembly to Assess Microbial Bioburden of Pressurant Within a Propulsion System

A report describes an adaptation of a filter assembly to enable it to be used to filter out microorganisms from a propulsion system. The filter assembly has previously been used for particulates >2 μm. Projects that utilize large volumes of nonmetallic materials of planetary protection concern pose a challenge to their bioburden budget, as a conservative specification value of 30 spores/cm3 is typically used.

Posted in: Bio-Medical, Briefs, TSP


PMA-Linked Fluorescence for Rapid Detection of Viable Bacterial Endospores

This method has applications in the pharmaceutical, food microbiology, semiconductor, and other industries requiring surface sterilization. The most common approach for assessing the abundance of viable bacterial endospores is the culture-based plating method. However, culture-based approaches are heavily biased and oftentimes incompatible with upstream sample processing strategies, which make viable cells/spores uncultivable. This shortcoming highlights the need for rapid molecular diagnostic tools to assess more accurately the abundance of viable spacecraft-associated microbiota, perhaps most importantly bacterial endospores.

Posted in: Bio-Medical, Briefs


Pre-Validated Medical Packaging Solution

This approach helps OEMs improve the process of getting a product into a validated sterile barrier system. Due to the complex requirements of the medical device industry, the internal resources of device OEMs are drawn primarily to the device R&D and regulatory arenas. However, once the device R&D is complete, there is still a major hurdle left to tackle: how to get a product into a validated sterile barrier system.

Posted in: Custom & Contract Manufacturing, FDA Compliance/Regulatory Affairs, Manufacturing & Prototyping, Packaging, Bio-Medical, Briefs, Briefs


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