Encyclopedia of Bioastronautics

Living Edition
| Editors: Laurence R. Young, Jeffrey P. Sutton

Space Biomedical Instrumentation

  • Gary E. StrangmanEmail author
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-10152-1_25-1


Space biomedical instrumentation (SBI) covers all devices used for biomedical monitoring, diagnosis, countermeasures, and therapy in astronauts, including relevant environmental sensors (e.g., radiation, CO2, water quality, etc.)


Prior to the first spaceflights, one could only speculate what might happen to humans in weightlessness. Many dangerous hypotheses were considered, ranging from an inability to swallow to an inability to see. As a result, starting with the very first human spaceflights of Yuri Gagarin and Alan Shepard, biomedical instrumentation has been used onboard both Russian and US spacecraft to medically monitor crewmembers, and to investigate and quantify the physiological effects of spaceflight. Gagarin’s flight included devices to measure electrocardiography (ECG) and pneumograms (PG), while Shepard was monitored for ECG, respiratory rate, and body temperature. Blood pressure measures were added in subsequent flights, thereby providing standard...

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.


  1. Buckey JC (2006) Space physiology. Oxford University Press, Oxford, England, UKGoogle Scholar
  2. Dulchavsky SA, Sargsyan AE et al (2011) Intuitive ultrasonography for autonomous medical care in limited-resource environments. Acta Astronaut 68(9–10):1595–1607CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Gifford KK, Kuzminsky S et al (2006) BioNet: A developer-centric middleware architecture for heterogeneous devices and protocols. IEEE WIreless Communications and Networking, Las VegasGoogle Scholar
  4. Hamilton DR, Sargsyan AE et al (2011) On-orbit prospective echocardiography on International Space Station crew. Echocardiography 28(5):491–501CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Harper JD, Dunmire B et al (2014) Preclinical safety and effectiveness studies of ultrasonic propulsion of kidney stones. Urology 84(2):484–489CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. House NG, Samarin GI (2009) Biomedical research in spaceflight. U.S. and Russian Cooperation in Space Biology and Medicine. In: Sawin CF, Hanson SI, House NG, Pestov ID (eds) , vol V. America Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Reston, pp 69–194Google Scholar
  7. Kirkpatrick AW, Blaivas M et al (2013) Enabling the mission through trans-atlantic remote mentored musculoskeletal ultrasound: case report of a portable hand-carried tele-ultrasound system for medical relief missions. Telemed J E Health 19(7):530–534CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Mader TH, Gibson CR et al (2011) Optic disc edema, globe flattening, choroidal folds, and hyperopic shifts observed in astronauts after long-duration space flight. Ophthalmology 118(10):2058–2069CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Minard CG, de Carvalho MF et al (2011) Optimizing medical resources for spaceflight using the integrated medical model. Aviat Space Environ Med 82(9):890–894CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Mulholland HC, Casey F et al (1999) Application of a low cost telemedicine link to the diagnosis of neonatal congenital heart defects by remote consultation. Heart 82(2):217–221CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. NASA (2014) Interplanetary Overlay Network (ION) Software Distribution (DTN). Retrieved 17 June 2014 from http://code.nasa.gov/project/interplanetary-overlay-network-ion-software-distribution-dtn/
  12. Sargsyan AE, Hamilton DR et al (2005) FAST at MACH 20: clinical ultrasound aboard the International Space Station. J Trauma 58(1):35–39CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Schwamm LH, Rosenthal ES et al (2004) Virtual TeleStroke support for the emergency department evaluation of acute stroke. Acad Emerg Med 11(11):1193–1197CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Vaezy S, Noble ML et al (2004) Liver hemostasis with high-intensity ultrasound: repair and healing. J Ultrasound Med 23(2):217–225CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Watkins SD, Barr YR et al (2011) The space medicine exploration medical condition list. NASA, HoustonGoogle Scholar
  16. Zhang Q, Ivkovic V et al (2014) Twenty-four-hour ambulatory recording of cerebral hemodynamics, systemic hemodynamics, electrocardiography, and actigraphy during people's daily activities. J Biomed Opt 19(4):47003CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Zheng S, Tai YC et al (2005) A Micro device for separation of erythrocytes and leukocytes in human blood. Conf Proc IEEE Eng Med Biol Soc 1(1):1024–1027Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychiatryHarvard Medical SchoolBostonUSA
  2. 2.Center for Space MedicineBaylor College of MedicineHoustonUSA

Section editors and affiliations

  • Peter Norsk
    • 1
  1. 1.Division of Space Life SciencesUSRAHoustonUSA