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Short radius centrifuges - a new approach for life science experiments under hyper-g conditions for applications in space and beyond

Zander, Vanja and Anken, Ralf and Pesquet, Thomas and Brungs, Sonja and Latsch, Joachim (2013) Short radius centrifuges - a new approach for life science experiments under hyper-g conditions for applications in space and beyond. Recent Progress in Space Technology, 3 (1), pp. 74-81. Bentham Science Publishers. DOI: 10.2174/18776116112029990014 ISBN ISSN: 2210-6871, eISSN: 1877-6116 ISSN 2210-6871

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Official URL: http://benthamscience.com/journal/index.php?journalID=rpst#top


A broad variety of countermeasures on the effects of weightlessness on human physiology have been developed and applied in the course of space exploration. Devices like treadmills, stretch ropes etc. have several disadvantages in common: they require a significant amount of crew time and they may not efficiently counteract the degradation of physiological structures and cellular functions. Some methods even include potentially painful or uncomfortable procedures for the astronauts. Thus, the application of Artificial Gravity (AG) generated by short radius centrifuges (they fit into space vessels) has been discussed and proposed by a number of scientists and space agencies as an alternative countermeasure during long-term space missions. Although there is a profound knowledge concerning, e.g., the cardiovascular system and immune responses acquired on long radius centrifuges, there is a remarkable lack of knowledge concerning the same issues on devices operating with short radius. In strict contrast to long radius centrifuges, there is a significant gravity gradient in the head-to-toe axis which comes along with the short radius and higher relative rotation velocity. Thus it is of utmost importance to continue investigating the effects of AG, especially by use of short radius centrifuges. The Short Arm Human Centrifuge (SAHC) at the German Aerospace Center (DLR) in Cologne, Germany, is the most advanced type of short radius centrifuges presently commercially available. Experience gained so far using the SAHC at DLR revealed that future projects on centrifuge devices with short radius should aim at a clear identification of the threshold level of the g-load, which is necessary to efficiently counteract the degradation of physical structures and an efficient support of cellular functions. A satisfying result would be combined countermeasure methods applied at a threshold concerning g-load and exposition time in the course of long-term sojourn in microgravity. Another future control or monitoring method to exactly dose AG training is heart rate variability, which offers an insight into neurovegetative and cardiovascular regulation. Centrifuges like the SAHC are also useful platforms to accommodate small biological experiments, e.g., experiments addressing the response of cultured cells to hypergravity. Here, we briefly review the issue of short radius centrifuges and also address our experience hitherto gained during a number of scientific projects carried out at the SAHC at DLR.

Item URL in elib:https://elib.dlr.de/88018/
Document Type:Article
Title:Short radius centrifuges - a new approach for life science experiments under hyper-g conditions for applications in space and beyond
AuthorsInstitution or Email of AuthorsAuthors ORCID iD
Zander, VanjaGerman Aerospace Center (DLR), Institute of Aerospace Medicine, Cologne, GermanyUNSPECIFIED
Anken, RalfGerman Aerospace Center (DLR), Institute of Aerospace Medicine, Cologne, GermanyUNSPECIFIED
Pesquet, ThomasEuropean Astronaut Center, European Space Agency, Linder Hoehe, D-51147 Cologne, GermanyUNSPECIFIED
Brungs, SonjaGerman Aerospace Center (DLR), Institute of Aerospace Medicine, Cologne, GermanyUNSPECIFIED
Latsch, JoachimInstitute of Cardiology and Sportmedicine, German Sport University Cologne, Am Sportpark Muengersdorf 6, D-50933UNSPECIFIED
Journal or Publication Title:Recent Progress in Space Technology
Refereed publication:Yes
Open Access:Yes
Gold Open Access:No
In ISI Web of Science:No
DOI :10.2174/18776116112029990014
Page Range:pp. 74-81
Choi, Sang H.NASA Langley Research Center Hampton, VA, USA
Publisher:Bentham Science Publishers
ISBN:ISSN: 2210-6871, eISSN: 1877-6116
Keywords:Centrifuge, hyper-g, cardiovascular system, neurovestibular system, countermeasure, artificial gravity
HGF - Research field:Aeronautics, Space and Transport
HGF - Program:Space
HGF - Program Themes:Research under Space Conditions
DLR - Research area:Raumfahrt
DLR - Program:R FR - Forschung unter Weltraumbedingungen
DLR - Research theme (Project):R - Projekt :envihab
Location: Köln-Porz
Institutes and Institutions:Institute of Aerospace Medicine > Biomedical Science Support Center
Deposited By: Anken, Ralf
Deposited On:10 Feb 2014 09:16
Last Modified:31 Jul 2019 19:45

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