GE Healthcare and ESA facilitating an ISU MSS17 Workshop


“The main objective of the – Applied Physiology and Anatomy Workshop - is to teach ISU MSS students basic anatomical skills, skills in medical ultrasound and Doppler imaging and to demonstrate certain physiological phenomena”, said ISU associate professor Volker Damann M.D..

He is a medical doctor, former head of the Space Medicine Office at ESA’s European Astronaut Center (EAC), now residing at the International Space University (ISU) Central Campus and supporter of this Human Performance in Space activity.

ESA’s Dr. Sergi Vaquer led the workshop. He is a certified ISS Flight Surgeon with a special interest in human physiology and Emergency Physician from Barcelona currently working for ESA at the EAC.

Dr. Vaquer and V. Damann M.D. demonstrated some ultrasound techniques. Students repeated the imaging on themselves or on each other, trying to first locate their liver! Ultrasound is a non-invasive imaging technique. Four ultrasound machines certified for clinical use on humans were kindly provided by General Electrics Healthcare. Mr. Francois Bialy a member of the GE Healthcare Clinical Sales Support Ultrasound division assisted the students in how to use the machines and different frequency probes.

To demonstrate the blood volume control through kidneys, several students volunteered to drink 1.5 liters of non-gas mineral water at the beginning of the workshop within 10 minutes. Blood pressure measurements and kidney imaging were then performed. Some Doppler measurements also. Those fluid loaded students collected their urine to demonstrate, that a “fluid-shift” as it occurs upon entering weightlessness is counter-acted by increased urine production.

The vestibular system was also investigated! By rotating some volunteers on an office chair and then performing some basic neurological tests that demonstrate the interaction between the vestibular, the visual and the proprioceptive systems.

A comprehensive and hands-on workshop which allowed all ISU MSS17 participants to learn more about applied physiology and anatomy and effects of weightlessness on the human body.

MSS17 WS HPS Oct 2