Responsible Center: NSBRI
Solicitation / Funding Source: 2014-15 HERO NNJ14ZSA001N-Crew Health (FLAGSHIP & NSBRI)
Grant/Contract No.: NCC 9-58-NBPF04202
Project Type: GROUND
No. of Post Docs: 2
No. of PhD Candidates: 0
No. of Master's Candidates: 0
No. of Bachelor's Candidates: 0
No. of PhD Degrees: 0
No. of Master's Degrees: 0
No. of Bachelor's Degrees: 0
|Human Research Program Elements:
(1) HFBP:Human Factors & Behavioral Performance (IRP Rev H)
|Human Research Program Risks:
(1) Bmed:Risk of Adverse Behavioral Conditions and Psychiatric Disorders
(2) Sleep:Risk of Performance Decrements and Adverse Health Outcomes Resulting from Sleep Loss, Circadian Desynchronization, and Work Overload (IRP Rev F)
|Human Research Program Gaps:
(1) BMed02:We need to identify and validate measures to monitor behavioral health and performance during exploration class missions to determine acceptable thresholds for these measures (IRP Rev F)
(2) Sleep Gap 01:We need to identify a set of validated and minimally obtrusive tools to monitor and measure sleep-wake activity and associated performance changes for spaceflight (IRP Rev E)
|Flight Assignment/Project Notes:
|| NOTE: End date changed to 5/31/2017 per NSBRI (Ed., 8/30/16)
NOTE: End date changed to 12/31/2016 per NSBRI (Ed., 5/24/16)
NOTE: Period of performance corrected to 8/1/2015-7/31/2016, per NSBRI (Ed., 4/14/16)
NOTE: End date change to 5/31/2017 per NSBRI (Ed., 9/16/15)
NOTE: Change in Period of Performance to 8/1/2015-7/31/2016 (formerly 6/1/15-5/31/16), per NSBRI (Ed., 7/8/15)
|| Spaceflight is known to reduce sleep duration and negatively affect sleep quality. While actigraphy can be used to identify such sleep changes, the underlying physiology or causes of such disturbances remain to be understood. Brain assessments can be useful in this context, for sleep staging, sleep quality assessments, and identification of alterations in cerebral functioning related to sleep disturbance. However, the Earth-standard technologies for brain imaging—CT, MRI, PET—are not suitable for spaceflight.
Electroencephalography (EEG) and near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) are amenable to packaging in small, lightweight and low power devices. Importantly, they provide complementary electrophysiological and hemodynamic windows into brain physiology. Dr. Strangman has been developing the NINscan series of devices for mobile (including 24-hour) brain assessment. The most recent such device, NINscan-M, is a multi-use brain imaging system that includes a 64-channel NIRS imaging system and has the potential to support 8-channel EEG, as well as device-chaining to enable 16 or more channels of EEG, plus the potential to support other analog and/or digital sensor inputs. Dr. Strangman has also recently completed a software platform project, called SpaceMED, which can provide integrated data collection, management, and real-time data viewing from biomedical and environmental devices.
In this project, we enhanced our NINscan-M device to create NINscan-SE (a version specialized for sleep and EEG). The new NINscan-SE prototype provides 3-channel EEG, 2-channel EOG, 2-channel EMG, 1-channel ECG, accelerometry, and respiration monitoring, alongside the 64-channel NIRS imaging. We also developed a consolidated suite of data analysis tools to be used with the potentially large NINscan-SE datasets generated by sleep applications. This suite facilitates data format conversions to standard polysomnogrpahy formats (European Data Exchange, or EDF), as well as supporting standard preprocessing and analysis on the NINscan-SE datasets. To test NINscan-SE, we deployed the prototype in the Human Exploration Research Analog (HERA) facility, Campaign 3, Missions 1-4, to test the system in an operational environment. This work provides a a Technology Readiness Level (TRL)-6 prototype device plus software tools that significantly advance the brain- and sleep-assessment capabilities for spaceflight and analogous Earth-based settings.
|Research Impact/Earth Benefits:
|| Impact: Successful development of the NINscan-SE device will provide four key advantages. The most important of these is an easy-to-use mobile/wearable system for EEG+NIRS monitoring suitable for spaceflight sleep research. Essentially all prior PSG systems were either too large, heavy and/or complex for spaceflight, or lack adequate functionality to be useful for sleep researchers. In addition, NINscan-SE will be the first to integrate NIRS-based functionalities for brain and tissue hemodynamic imaging with EEG in a form factor suitable for spaceflight analog use. Third, we will provide a customized software toolkit for managing and analyzing the NINscan-SE data. Finally, the laboratory and HERA tests will demonstrate usability with minimally trained users, as well as operational feasibility and acceptability of deploying such a system in spaceflight analogs.
Earth Benefits: No current NIRS, EEG, or PSG device has both the portability and the multi-use features we propose; thus NINscan-SE could have substantial novel Earth applications. Hospital monitoring applications could include long-duration, non-invasive brain monitoring in the NeuroICU following stroke or traumatic injury, for which no similar technology exists. In-office brain function assessment could also be enabled, for assessment of psychiatric states, for monitoring the neural effects of cardiovascular or psychoactive drugs or other therapies, or for brain monitoring during rehabilitation. Mobile monitoring could perhaps have an even larger impact outside the hospital setting. With a wearable monitor, ambulatory syncope monitoring, or multi-parameter ambulatory epilepsy monitoring become possible. If deployed in emergency vehicles, NINscan-SE could potentially be used to detect cerebral or abdominal hemorrhage, ischemia and/or cortical spreading depression by first responders. Home monitoring uses include sleep apnea, as well as a variety of commercial possibilities.