Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Building a tool to examine bone quality for space and Earth-based diagnosis

06.01.2005


A portable imaging device currently in development by the National Space Biomedical Research Institute (NSBRI) will produce clear, highly detailed pictures of bone and tissue, helping physicians manage bone health in space and on Earth. The Scanning Confocal Acoustic Diagnostic system, or SCAD, will enable doctors to determine the rate of loss and plan treatment options with the aid of high-quality images, taken noninvasively.



Studies of cosmonauts and astronauts who spent months on space station Mir revealed that space travelers can lose, on average, one-to-two percent of bone mass each month, with the greatest loss in the lower extremities like the femur and hip. The culprit is microgravity, which causes bone loss in critical areas and leaves bones susceptible to fracture upon return to Earth.

Space travelers are not the only demographic concerned with bone loss. According to the National Osteoporosis Foundation, at least 10 million people in the United States suffer from bone loss in the form of osteoporosis.


“Because bone weakening is a potentially serious side-effect of extended spaceflight, we’re developing a high-resolution ultrasound imaging device that can monitor and diagnose bone quantity, density and strength in space,” said Dr. Yi-Xian Qin, associate team leader of NSBRI’s technology development team. “We’re currently in the beginning phases of development, but eventually this technology can aid diagnosis for a number of skeletal disorders.”

The real-time, high-resolution, portable imaging device will use scanned, confocal ultrasound for generating images in regions of interest and identifying problems or risk factors. For flight surgeons on the ground, the SCAD will help to quickly determine the rate of bone loss, severity of injuries and possibilities for recovery.

“It will also provide immediate images of bone and assess both density and stiffness data,” said Qin, associate professor in the department of biomedical engineering at Stony Brook University in New York.

Compared to current ultrasound technology for measuring bone loss, the SCAD system provides image-based bone quality parameters in the region of interest, which can be directly related to the assessment of bone strength. The system can also increase the accuracy for ultrasound and reduce the acoustic noise from soft tissue and critical regions via real-time mapping of the bone. It consists of a computer-controlled miniaturized scanner and data acquisition and analysis software designed by a team composed of Stony Brook scientists, a physician and graduate students. In the future, the system will be designed to include wireless output for easy data transmission. The entire device is lightweight and easy to carry.

Qin sees his project in two phases: first; the development phase focusing on miniaturizing the device and fine-tuning its precision, and the second phase; eventual clinical trial and commercial buy-in. From shuttle flights and missions aboard the ISS to future interplanetary travel, the SCAD device could provide immediate emergency diagnosis for injuries or conditions that might otherwise halt a mission.

“Aside from use inflight, my goal is to make this device available to physicians across disciplines to improve the diagnosis of osteopenia and osteoporosis,” Qin said. “Because such diseases are essentially painless at the initial stages, they are difficult to pinpoint and often diagnosed late.”

The SCAD project is complemented by NSBRI teams looking at other space health concerns including adequate sleep, psychosocial factors, cardiovascular changes, muscle wasting, balance and orientation problems, and radiation exposure. While focusing on space health issues, the Institute will quickly transfer solutions to Earth patients suffering from similar conditions.

The NSBRI, funded by NASA, is a consortium of institutions studying the health risks related to long-duration space flight. The Institute’s research and education projects take place at more than 70 institutions across the United States.

Lauren Hammit | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.bcm.tmc.edu

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Cholesterol-lowering drugs may fight infectious disease
22.08.2017 | Duke University

nachricht Once invincible superbug squashed by 'superteam' of antibiotics
22.08.2017 | University at Buffalo

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Fizzy soda water could be key to clean manufacture of flat wonder material: Graphene

Whether you call it effervescent, fizzy, or sparkling, carbonated water is making a comeback as a beverage. Aside from quenching thirst, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have discovered a new use for these "bubbly" concoctions that will have major impact on the manufacturer of the world's thinnest, flattest, and one most useful materials -- graphene.

As graphene's popularity grows as an advanced "wonder" material, the speed and quality at which it can be manufactured will be paramount. With that in mind,...

Im Focus: Exotic quantum states made from light: Physicists create optical “wells” for a super-photon

Physicists at the University of Bonn have managed to create optical hollows and more complex patterns into which the light of a Bose-Einstein condensate flows. The creation of such highly low-loss structures for light is a prerequisite for complex light circuits, such as for quantum information processing for a new generation of computers. The researchers are now presenting their results in the journal Nature Photonics.

Light particles (photons) occur as tiny, indivisible portions. Many thousands of these light portions can be merged to form a single super-photon if they are...

Im Focus: Circular RNA linked to brain function

For the first time, scientists have shown that circular RNA is linked to brain function. When a RNA molecule called Cdr1as was deleted from the genome of mice, the animals had problems filtering out unnecessary information – like patients suffering from neuropsychiatric disorders.

While hundreds of circular RNAs (circRNAs) are abundant in mammalian brains, one big question has remained unanswered: What are they actually good for? In the...

Im Focus: RAVAN CubeSat measures Earth's outgoing energy

An experimental small satellite has successfully collected and delivered data on a key measurement for predicting changes in Earth's climate.

The Radiometer Assessment using Vertically Aligned Nanotubes (RAVAN) CubeSat was launched into low-Earth orbit on Nov. 11, 2016, in order to test new...

Im Focus: Scientists shine new light on the “other high temperature superconductor”

A study led by scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg presents evidence of the coexistence of superconductivity and “charge-density-waves” in compounds of the poorly-studied family of bismuthates. This observation opens up new perspectives for a deeper understanding of the phenomenon of high-temperature superconductivity, a topic which is at the core of condensed matter research since more than 30 years. The paper by Nicoletti et al has been published in the PNAS.

Since the beginning of the 20th century, superconductivity had been observed in some metals at temperatures only a few degrees above the absolute zero (minus...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Call for Papers – ICNFT 2018, 5th International Conference on New Forming Technology

16.08.2017 | Event News

Sustainability is the business model of tomorrow

04.08.2017 | Event News

Clash of Realities 2017: Registration now open. International Conference at TH Köln

26.07.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Cholesterol-lowering drugs may fight infectious disease

22.08.2017 | Health and Medicine

Meter-sized single-crystal graphene growth becomes possible

22.08.2017 | Materials Sciences

Repairing damaged hearts with self-healing heart cells

22.08.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>