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Feasibility Study of a Lunar Analog Bed Rest ModelThe purpose of this study was to determine the feasibility of using a 9.5deg head-up tilt bed rest model to simulate the effects of the 1/6 g load to the human body that exists on the lunar surface. The lunar analog bed rest model utilized a modified hospital bed. The modifications included mounting the mattress on a sled that rolled on bearings to provide freedom of movement. The weight of the sled was off-loaded using a counterweight system to insure that 1/6 body weight was applied along the long axis (z-axis) of the body. Force was verified through use of a force plate mounted at the foot of the bed. A seating assembly was added to the bed to permit periods of sitting. Subjects alternated between standing and sitting positions throughout the day. A total of 35% of the day was spent in the standing position and 65% was spent sitting. In an effort to achieve physiologic fluid shifts expected for a 1/6 G environment, subjects wore compression stockings and performed unloaded foot and ankle exercises. Eight subjects (3 females and 5 males) participated in this study. Subjects spent 13 days in the pre-bed rest phase, 6 days in bed rest and 3 days post bed rest. Subjects consumed a standardized diet throughout the study. To determine feasibility, measures of subject comfort, force and plasma volume were collected. Subject comfort was assessed using a Likert scale. Subjects were asked to assess level of comfort (0-100) for 11 body regions and provide an overall rating. Results indicated minimal to no discomfort as most subjects reported scores of zero. Force measures were performed for each standing position and were validated against subject s calculated 1/6 body weight (r(sup 2) = 0.993). The carbon monoxide rebreathing technique was used to assess plasma volume during pre-bed rest and on the last day of bed rest. Plasma volume results indicated a significant decrease (p = 0.001) from pre to post bed rest values. Subjects lost on average 8.3% (sd = 6.1%) during the bed rest phase. Findings from this feasibility study indicated that 1) the lunar analog bed rest model was well tolerated by subjects; 2) a 1/6 load was accurately applied to the z-axis of the body; and 3) plasma volume losses could be achieved in a head-up tilt bed rest model. Future work to refine this model should include extending the duration of bed rest to mimic longer mission durations and a comprehensive assessment of the physiological responses to this bed rest analog.
Document ID
Document Type
Conference Paper
Cromwell, Ronita L.
(NASA Johnson Space Center Houston, TX, United States)
Platts, Steven H.
(NASA Johnson Space Center Houston, TX, United States)
Yarbough, Patrice
(Universities Space Research Association Houston, TX, United States)
Buccello-Stout, Regina
(Universities Space Research Association Houston, TX, United States)
Date Acquired
August 24, 2013
Publication Date
January 1, 2010
Subject Category
Life Sciences (General)
Report/Patent Number
Meeting Information
Meeting: International Society for Gravitational Physiology Meeting
Location: Trieste
Country: Italy
Start Date: June 13, 2010
End Date: June 18, 2010
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