Measurement of bone mineral density in space

H. K. Charles, T. J. Beck, H. S. Feldmesser, T. C. Magee, M. H. Chen, T. S. Spisz

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


The purpose of the Advanced Multiple Projection Dual Energy X-ray Absorptiometry (AMPDXA) Scanning System project is to design, build, and test a precision scanner system for monitoring the deleterious effects of weightlessness on the human musculoskeletal system during prolonged spaceflight. The instrument uses dual energy x-ray absorptiometry (DXA) principles and is designed to measure bone mineral density (BMD), decompose soft tissue into fat and muscle, and derive structural properties (cross-sections, moments of inertia). Such data permits assessment of microgravity effects on bone and muscle and the associated fracture risk upon returning to planetary gravity levels. Multiple projections, coupled with axial translation, provide three-dimensional geometric properties suitable for accurate structural analysis. This structural analysis, coupled with bone models and estimated loads, defines the fracture risk. The scanner will be designed to minimize volume and mass (46-kg goal), while maintaining the required mechanical stability for high-precision measurement. The AMPDXA will be able to detect changes less than 1% in bone mass and geometry and changes less than 5% in muscle mass.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2168-2169
Number of pages2
JournalAnnual International Conference of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology - Proceedings
StatePublished - Dec 1 2002
EventProceedings of the 2002 IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology 24th Annual Conference and the 2002 Fall Meeting of the Biomedical Engineering Society (BMES / EMBS) - Houston, TX, United States
Duration: Oct 23 2002Oct 26 2002


  • Bone mineral density
  • Dual x-ray absorptiometry
  • Microgravity-induced bone loss
  • Osteoporosis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Signal Processing
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition
  • Health Informatics


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