Beat-to-Beat Blood Pressure Monitor

This invention is applicable to all segments of the blood pressure monitoring market, including ambulatory, home-based, and high-acuity monitoring. This device provides non-invasive beat-to-beat blood pressure measurements and can be worn over the upper arm for prolonged durations. Phase and waveform analyses are performed on filtered proximal and distal photoplethysmographic (PPG) waveforms obtained from the brachial artery. The phase analysis is used primarily for the computation of the mean arterial pressure, while the waveform analysis is used primarily to obtain the pulse pressure. Realtime compliance estimate is used to refine both the mean arterial and pulse pressures to provide the beat-to-beat blood pressure measurement.

Posted in: Bio-Medical, Physical Sciences, Test & Measurement, Medical, Patient Monitoring, Measuring Instruments, Monitoring, Briefs


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, Software, Medical, Patient Monitoring, Diagnostics, Briefs, TSP


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, Sensors, Rehabilitation & Physical Therapy, Medical, Briefs


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, Visualization Software, Imaging, Surgical Robotics/Instruments, Medical, Patient Monitoring, Diagnostics, Briefs


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, 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, 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, Medical, Briefs


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