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Terrestrial Microgravity Model and Threshold Gravity Simulation using Magnetic LevitationWhat is the threshold gravity (minimum gravity level) required for the nominal functioning of the human system? What dosage is required? Do human cell lines behave differently in microgravity in response to an external stimulus? The critical need for such a gravity simulator is emphasized by recent experiments on human epithelial cells and lymphocytes on the Space Shuttle clearly showing that cell growth and function are markedly different from those observed terrestrially. Those differences are also dramatic between cells grown in space and those in Rotating Wall Vessels (RWV), or NASA bioreactor often used to simulate microgravity, indicating that although morphological growth patterns (three dimensional growth) can be successfully simulated using RWVs, cell function performance is not reproduced - a critical difference. If cell function is dramatically affected by gravity off-loading, then cell response to stimuli such as radiation, stress, etc. can be very different from terrestrial cell lines. Yet, we have no good gravity simulator for use in study of these phenomena. This represents a profound shortcoming for countermeasures research. We postulate that we can use magnetic levitation of cells and tissue, through the use of strong magnetic fields and field gradients, as a terrestrial microgravity model to study human cells. Specific objectives of the research are: 1. To develop a tried, tested and benchmarked terrestrial microgravity model for cell culture studies; 2. Gravity threshold determination; 3. Dosage (magnitude and duration) of g-level required for nominal functioning of cells; 4. Comparisons of magnetic levitation model to other models such as RWV, hind limb suspension, etc. and 5. Cellular response to reduced gravity levels of Moon and Mars. The paper will discuss experiments md modeling work to date in support of this project.
Document ID
Document Type
Conference Paper
Ramachandran, N. (NASA Marshall Space Flight Center Huntsville, AL, United States)
Date Acquired
August 23, 2013
Publication Date
January 1, 2005
Subject Category
Space Processing
Meeting Information
35th International Conference on Environmental Systems(Rome)
Funding Number(s)
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.