MyotonPRO tested successfully in the Parabolic Flight Campaign
Myoton participated successfully in the 55th Parabolic Flight Campaign organized by the European Space Agency in Bordeaux, France between 21st - 25th November 2011. The international research team used the MyotonPRO device to record thousands of muscle measurements sucessfully from human subjects in microgravity, including Thomas Pesquet, the renowned French astronaut.
The goal of this study was to validate if use of MyotonPRO to record muscle properties in a zero gravity environment is feasible. The weightless environment of space is known to induce several challenging physiological changes in astronauts’ bodies. After prolonged space missions, astronauts can suffer substantial loss in skeletal muscle mass and strength on spaceflights. For instance in missions lasting five to eleven days astronauts have been shown to lose up to 20% of their muscle mass. Therefore, maintaining muscle condition in space is an important issue, especially for long-duration space missions on the International Space Station. This is where MyotonPRO could play an important role in helping astronauts to monitor their muscle properties objectively and choose optimized training loads.
The flight campaign included three parabolic flight days during which the research team measured the Achilles tendon as well as Gastrocnemius lateralis and Serratus posterior muscles on six human subjects.
From the preliminary results of the study, it was concluded that the MyotonPRO device is an easy to use tool that allows for changes in muscle tone, biomechanical and viscoelastic properties of the human skeletal muscle to be determined even under extreme environmental conditions, such as micro- and hyper-gravity. Elasticity and dynamic stiffness of muscles and tendons were shown to decrease significantly due to the unloading effect in microgravity.
Approval by space sector experts for space-related research is the highest level of validation Myoton could achieve for its technology. This brings the Myoton one step closer to its goal of launching MyotonPRO commercially into the international medical device market and establishing its role as the new widely-recognised standard to assess muscles in clinical and sports medicine
The zero gravity feasibility study was lead by the German Sport University with ethics approval through the Center Hospitalier Universitaire, consulted by BeOne Hamburg and financed within the ESA PECS program.