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Feasibility of monitoring muscle health in microgravity environments using Myoton technology

Feasibility of monitoring muscle health in microgravity environments using Myoton technology
Feasibility of monitoring muscle health in microgravity environments using Myoton technology
Physical exercise is important for people living under extreme environmental conditions to stay healthy. Particularly in space, exercise can partially counteract the loss of muscle mass and muscle strength caused by microgravity. Monitoring the adaptation of the musculoskeletal system to assess muscle quality and devise individual training programmes is highly desirable but is restricted by practical, technical and time constraints on board the International Space Station. This study aimed to test the feasibility of using myometric measurements to monitor the mechanical properties of skeletal muscles and tendons in weightlessness during parabolic flights. The mechanical properties (frequency, decrement, stiffness relaxation time and creep) of the m. gastrocnemius, m. erector spinae and Achilles tendon were assessed using the hand-held MyotonPRO device in 11 healthy participants (aged 47 ± 9 years) in normal gravity as well as in microgravity during two parabolic flight campaigns. Results showed significant (p < .05–.001) changes in all mechanical properties of both muscles and the Achilles tendon, indicating a more relaxed tissue state in microgravity. Recordings from a phantom rubber material with the device in a test rig confirmed that the device itself was not affected by gravity, as changes between gravity conditions that were too small (<1 %) to explain the changes observed in the tissues. It is concluded that myometric measurements are a feasible, easy-to-use and non-invasive approach to monitor muscle health in extreme conditions that prohibit many other methods. Real-time assessment of the quality of a muscle being exposed to the negative effect of microgravity and also the positive effects of muscular training could be achieved using Myoton technology
parabolic flight, muscle, myoton measurements, myoton technology, myometry, microgravity
0140-0118
57-66
Schneider, Stefan
1f8e382f-54aa-4fc1-8677-b6b93bcf2193
Peipsi, Aleko
6b43ba06-7563-4be7-87bf-54769e41ab87
Knicker, Axel
f4f81656-107f-4e43-9efc-6f6f0f7ab4ff
Stokes, Maria
71730503-70ce-4e67-b7ea-a3e54579717f
Abeln, Vera
47f98359-c45b-4872-9ff7-6d559f5ad07d
Schneider, Stefan
1f8e382f-54aa-4fc1-8677-b6b93bcf2193
Peipsi, Aleko
6b43ba06-7563-4be7-87bf-54769e41ab87
Knicker, Axel
f4f81656-107f-4e43-9efc-6f6f0f7ab4ff
Stokes, Maria
71730503-70ce-4e67-b7ea-a3e54579717f
Abeln, Vera
47f98359-c45b-4872-9ff7-6d559f5ad07d

Schneider, Stefan, Peipsi, Aleko, Knicker, Axel, Stokes, Maria and Abeln, Vera (2015) Feasibility of monitoring muscle health in microgravity environments using Myoton technology. Medical and Biological Engineering and Computing, 53 (1), 57-66. (doi:10.1007/s11517-014-1211-5). (PMID:25280972)

Record type: Article

Abstract

Physical exercise is important for people living under extreme environmental conditions to stay healthy. Particularly in space, exercise can partially counteract the loss of muscle mass and muscle strength caused by microgravity. Monitoring the adaptation of the musculoskeletal system to assess muscle quality and devise individual training programmes is highly desirable but is restricted by practical, technical and time constraints on board the International Space Station. This study aimed to test the feasibility of using myometric measurements to monitor the mechanical properties of skeletal muscles and tendons in weightlessness during parabolic flights. The mechanical properties (frequency, decrement, stiffness relaxation time and creep) of the m. gastrocnemius, m. erector spinae and Achilles tendon were assessed using the hand-held MyotonPRO device in 11 healthy participants (aged 47 ± 9 years) in normal gravity as well as in microgravity during two parabolic flight campaigns. Results showed significant (p < .05–.001) changes in all mechanical properties of both muscles and the Achilles tendon, indicating a more relaxed tissue state in microgravity. Recordings from a phantom rubber material with the device in a test rig confirmed that the device itself was not affected by gravity, as changes between gravity conditions that were too small (<1 %) to explain the changes observed in the tissues. It is concluded that myometric measurements are a feasible, easy-to-use and non-invasive approach to monitor muscle health in extreme conditions that prohibit many other methods. Real-time assessment of the quality of a muscle being exposed to the negative effect of microgravity and also the positive effects of muscular training could be achieved using Myoton technology

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Schneider et al 2014_Feasibility of monitoring muscle health in microgravity environments_final240914.pdf - Accepted Manuscript
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More information

Accepted/In Press date: 7 October 2014
e-pub ahead of print date: 21 October 2014
Published date: January 2015
Keywords: parabolic flight, muscle, myoton measurements, myoton technology, myometry, microgravity
Organisations: Faculty of Health Sciences

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 373863
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/373863
ISSN: 0140-0118
PURE UUID: 6745e5d8-8938-421a-b6bb-a89db1d6d3b3
ORCID for Maria Stokes: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-4204-0890

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Date deposited: 19 Feb 2015 11:38
Last modified: 12 Mar 2020 01:28

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