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Proceedings Paper

Astronaut health monitoring
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Paper Abstract

Extended weightlessness causes numerous deleterious changes in human physiology, including space motion sickness, cephalad fluid shifts, reduced immune response, and breakdown of muscle tissue with subsequent loss of bone mass and formation of renal stones. Furthermore, these physiological changes also influence the metabolism of drugs used by astronauts to minimize these deleterious effects. Unfortunately, the changes in human physiology in space are also reflected in drug metabolism, and current pre-flight analyses designed to set dosage are inadequate. Furthermore, current earth-based analytical laboratory methods that employ liquid or gas chromatography for separation and fluorescence or mass spectrometry for trace detection are labor intensive, slow, massive, and not cost-effective for operation in space. In an effort to overcome these instrument limitations we have been developing a sampling device to both separate these drugs and metabolites from urine, and generate surface-enhanced Raman (SER) spectra. The detailed molecular vibrational information afforded by Raman scattering allows chemical identification, while the surface-enhancement increases sensitivity by six or more orders of magnitude and allows detection of nanogram per milliliter concentrations. Generally no more than 1 milliliter of sample is required and complete analysis can be performed in 5 minutes using a portable, light-weight Raman spectrometer. Here we present the SER analysis of several drugs used by astronauts measured in synthetic urine and reconstituted urine.

Paper Details

Date Published: 23 October 2006
PDF: 7 pages
Proc. SPIE 6380, Smart Medical and Biomedical Sensor Technology IV, 63800V (23 October 2006); doi: 10.1117/12.683007
Show Author Affiliations
Frank Inscore, Real-Time Analyzers, Inc. (United States)
Chetan Shende, Real-Time Analyzers, Inc. (United States)
Alan Gift, Real-Time Analyzers, Inc. (United States)
Paul Maksymiuk, Real-Time Analyzers, Inc. (United States)
Stuart Farquharson, Real-Time Analyzers, Inc. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 6380:
Smart Medical and Biomedical Sensor Technology IV
Brian M. Cullum; J. Chance Carter, Editor(s)

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