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Portable Bone Quality Assessment Device (NEEMO-BONE)
Principal Investigator
Research Area:
Bone and calcium physiology
Species Studied
Scientific Name: Homo sapiens Species: Human

The weakening of load-bearing bones due to resorption is one of the major concerns of prolonged exposure to microgravity. We lack both an understanding of and a way to measure the more specific biomechanical changes at work. Because of the limited medical capabilities on a spacecraft or at any remote landing site, there is clearly the need for additional diagnostic tools that are portable, reliable, and easy to use by a person with a minimal medical background. Vibrational analysis (structural dynamics) appears to be a very promising avenue for investigation. The frequency response of bone theoretically contains far more information about the structural properties than conventional imaging techniques, which can only examine the apparent properties of bone. Under laboratory conditions, a hand-held acoustic device has been developed at Rice University.

This award winning prototype, dubbed Osteosonic, won the 2003 "Create the Future" design contest sponsored by NASA Tech Briefs and Emhart Teknologies and is currently being tested on human subjects at Rice University. The objective of this experiment was to test the portable device for non-invasive evaluation of bone quality in the space flight analog provided by Aquarius.

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Bone and bones
Bone resorption
Technology assessment

Photo Gallery
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Data Information
Data Availability
Archive is complete. No data sets are available for this experiment. Please Contact LSDA if you know of available data for this investigation.


Mission/Study Information
Mission Launch/Start Date Landing/End Date Duration
NEEMO 6 07/12/2004 07/21/2004 10 days

Additional Information
Managing NASA Center
Johnson Space Center (JSC)
Responsible NASA Representative
Johnson Space Center LSDA Office
Project Manager: Pamela A. Bieri
Institutional Support
National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)