| UTMB | | Ultrasound Program | | New Developments | | TSGC Research Report |
We have just submitted (April 1, 1997) a proposal to NASA in response to NRA 96-HEDS-04 for $746K over three years which incorporates both of these technologies. This will provide NASA with the capability to continuously monitor the state of the musculoskeletal system during space flight and thus thoroughly evaluate the effects of physical countermeasures for the first time.
The successful development of this project will help define effective physical countermeasures for long term space flight. This is a major priority for the Biomedical Research and Countermeasures Program of the Life Sciences Division of NASA and of special emphasis during FY98 "...bone loss and muscle atrophy are expected to be among the most serious problems for extended-duration space flight...".
Shriner's Burn Institute at UTMB
A proposal for $204K over two years was submitted for internal review at the Shriner's Burn Institute (SBI) ant UTMB on March 17, 1997, to be submitted to SBI in June 1997. Dr. Herndon, Chief Medical Officer for SBI actually requested the proposal after attending a presentation of the capabilities of the combined muscle and bone measurement system by Alfred Johnston, Peter Antich and Clarence Nicodemus. The effects of burn are very similar to those of microgravity for a similar reason: lack of use stressors. Dr. Herndon wants to be able to measure the effects of his therapies on the musculoskeletal system during the acute phase of for the burn patient, especially children, which is the first 40 days. No ability currently exists to provide this information except with our system.
If successful, this grant will add an additional $204K to funds leveraged by our TSGC grant. More importantly, this research and application points to a wide variety of Earth based clinical uses for this technology.
Texas Advanced Technology Program (ATP)
A consortium approach to the ATP is underway, led by UTMB with UTSWMC. Led by Clarence Nicodemus, PhD, Director of Spine Research, Department of Orthopaedics and Rehabilitation at UTMB, this will propose the specific development of a clinical device prototype which can be used to evaluate the effects of treatment on the musculoskeletal system for various orthopaedic procedures. The proposed effort funding will be approximately $500K over two years, to be submitted in June 1997.
This will develop the clinical applications of the system in greater detail. Applications include fracture healing complications in Orthopaedics, possible understanding and prevention of scoliosis in children through early detection of non uniform growth patterns in vertebral end plates; screening of sports injuries on the field without the need for expensive MR or CT scans and many more.
NIH/National Institute of Aging (SCORE)
A proposal for $506K over 4 years has been submitted by UTSWMC for study of osteoporosis which includes both bone elasticity and muscle volume measurement. It proposes the in-vivo and ex-vivo study of the musculoskeletal systems in animals to determine the interrelationships between muscle and bone tissue under conditions of under use such as occurs in the aging population as well as during Space Flight.
This is the third proposal for grant funding in clinical applications based on the initial seed grant from TSGC. It clearly points out the importance of the development of this project for technology transfer to and from NASA.